Well, it might seem like my best-laid plans for the podcast have gone sideways, but I assure you it’s anything but.
I won’t go into much detail about life with this episode, but the last couple of months have been super busy with family stuff, and I’ve been quietly working behind the scenes and, for lack of a better description, have been “burning the boats.”
This episode is for anyone who has or has had that niggly feeling in their gut for far too long about making a change in their business. It could be niching down, a pivot to something entirely different, focusing on a different audience, or adding something brand new.
Whatever it is, my goal with this episode is to both inspire you and give you a few things you can do to get the ball rolling.
One thing to remember: this is going to look completely different for each individual. Don’t compare your pivot to anyone else’s.
On one hand, the burning of the boats feels like it’s been years in the making. On the other hand, I made this decision fairly quickly because of the level of focus and structure I’ve implemented.
Simplifying & Burning the Boats
The first time I burned the boats in my business was when I pivoted from “The WPChick” to my personal brand. This was back in 2018, and I knew it was time.
In fact, it was probably time a few years prior, but I didn’t have the clarity or the courage until 2018.
During the last few years as The WPChick, I felt very limited.
I didn’t want to:
- Create any more how-to WordPress tutorials
- Do anymore client work, no more websites
- Continue creating content about plugins or themes
I changed my tagline on my site to “A Place Where WordPress and Marketing Collide,”… which I loved, but at the time, the WordPress space was so anti-marketing (God forbid you made a living in that space outside of service work), and I didn’t feel like dealing with the trolls (I had my fair share in that space).
What I loved doing was creating content and marketing.
The more I learned about marketing, the more I enjoyed it.
In many ways, I held myself back when I was The WPChick. Because there was such a self-righteous anti-marketing stance, I avoided trying things or going deeper with marketing strategies. I’d do the surface work and get some results, but not the results I truly wanted.
I tried to please everyone but myself.
If I could go back and tell myself anything, it would be to only pay attention to people who were already where I wanted to be.
Here’s another way to look at his:
Never take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with.
– Darren Hardy
I’ve spent far too much of my life worrying about what other people think.
This might come as a surprise to people who don’t know me very well or to those who I haven’t allowed myself to be vulnerable with, but I’m over it.
This is probably one of my favorite things about getting older… as you start to realize that your time on this earth is actually finite and you may have less in front of you than behind you, you realize it’s time to stop playing small.
Or, as Brené Brown shares in her article, ” The Midlife Unraveling,”…
I’m not screwing around. All of this pretending and performing—these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt—has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy and lovable, but you’re still searching, and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through your veins. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.
– Brené Brown
The catalyst to all of this was a letter I wrote to myself from my future self.
In May of this year, I took a road trip to Lincoln City on the coast of Oregon to meet up with two dear friends. Friends I connected with online and was finally meeting in person!
I chose to drive from California because I thoroughly enjoy quiet time in the car to listen to podcasts and books or just be quiet with my thoughts.
The drive was between 10-11 hours, so it was easy to get an entire book in on the drive home. The book I listened to that inspired the letter from my future self is “Be Your Future Self NOW” by Dr. Benjamin Hardy.
I dated the letter December 31st, 2023, which was seven months in the future.
I’m not going to share or read the full letter, but it starts with “GIRL! What an amazing year! I’m writing to you on the morning of New Year’s Eve, 2023. I’m enjoying a quiet morning with my coffee, overlooking the ocean, reflecting on all this year has brought us!”
Taking the time to put down on paper what I wanted to achieve from the place of already having achieved it lit something up inside of me. 🔥
I then went down a rabbit hole with the books co-authored by Dr. Benjamin Hardy & Dan Sullivan and have implemented a handful of things that deeply resonate with me (I highly recommend 10X is Easier Than 2X, as well as the supporting series of videos on YouTube).
I’ve gone up and down with goal setting and intentions.
In my early 20s, I discovered Tony Robbins and his Personal Power Tapes (don’t judge) and proceeded to consume everything I could find as it related to motivation and business (Nightingale Conant anyone?).
I listened to them all.
Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Dennis Waitly, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield… you get the point.
Side note: notice how they’re all men?
I’ll leave that alone for a minute, but I’ll get back to it.
I don’t remember when it was exactly, but in my late 20’s, I found Dr. Wayne Dyer, and it felt like coming home.
He had such a beautiful way of bringing spirituality, personality, ego, humor, and real-life examples into his work I felt like he was speaking directly to me.
I actually saw him live in San Francisco every chance I could (I have a few books signed by him and even got a hug from him a year after my husband passed away. I told him his work got me through one of the hardest years of my life).
Wayne Dyer’s work felt like one big permission slip to me where I could ease off the gas pedal a bit and get to where I wanted to go in a gentler manner.
As someone who thrived on being productive and felt much of my value was associated to how much I accomplished, this wasn’t an easy transition.
Fast forward to starting my business in 2008, and without realizing it I was back to listening to men tell me how things should be done (Internet marketers).
I was so excited about the possibilities of having an online business and being able to be around for my kids that I wasn’t even aware that I was on autopilot. Again.
I found myself creating and setting goals in a way that was portrayed as the “only way to achieve X.”
This is completely asinine when you think about it…as though people never achieved anything before we had productivity gurus and systems to follow.
Back to 10x Is Easier Than 2X, and my up and down goal setting.
We’re all familiar with the 80/20 principle, or the Pareto Principle, which states that “80% of outcomes (or outputs) result from 20% of all causes (or inputs) for any given event.”
The example I love from Ben Hardy is that he set the goal to get a 6-figure book deal. He researched what he needed to do in order to make that happen (100k-person email list for one!) so he became a prolific blogger on Medium and wrote for three years straight.
Once he got his book deal, he stopped blogging because he knew that in order to reach his next goal, he needed to change what he was doing.
What I love about this example is it challenges everything we’ve been told about growing an online business.
We think that the things we do well and have been consistent with are the things we need to do forever (or is this only me?).
Kind of like the 10,000-hour rule (which, by the way, isn’t based on any sort of data or facts) that says you have to do something for 10k hours to get good.
Obviously, if you do something for 10k hours, you’re probably going to get pretty good at it, but what if it takes you less than 10k hours?!
Setting a BIG goal for myself
With the 10X book, which is this incredible marrying of psychology, spirituality, and neuroscience (i.e., it’s not just another high-achieving dude telling you to hustle), I realized I’ve been playing small.
And, as the Universe said to Brené Brown in the above quote, “Your armor is keeping you from growing into your gifts.”
So I set a big goal for myself to achieve in 3 years’ time (also not sharing because this is sacred to me. I’ll share it when I achieve it).
Once I set that big goal (I’ve shared this with a few trusted people), it was like all the extraneous distractions became glaringly obvious, and I knew it was time to let them go.
And it was easy.
The beauty of this big goal is that I don’t need to know how to make it happen today. I just need to know how to behave in order to become my future self who has already achieved this goal.
Since I’ve gone down this path, I’ve created a few rituals for myself that I’ve been consistent with (daily) and am staying the course.
There is a fierce level of focus in me that I don’t think I’ve felt before.
And I love it.
What This Means for My Business
I am simplifying the hell out of everything.
First and foremost, I’m ready to claim that those I want to serve are women.
I’ve been afraid to state this out loud because I’ve had a pretty even split of men & women on my email list (more so when I was in the WordPress space), and I was afraid of offending anyone.
When I look at who actually buys from me?
I’ve not done the math on everything, but when I run live workshops or cohorts, this is an accurate representation of my customers.
SO… here we go.
I’ve been working on a lot “behind the scenes” and will share more when it’s ready for a public debut, but my plan is simple:
- A community
- Group Coaching
- In-person retreats
By the way, if you haven’t heard, I’m hosting my first-ever Women’s Business Retreat this October in Costa Rica! 🎉 You can learn more about that at IgniteMastermindCR.com. As of the time of this podcast (late July), we only have 5 out of 10 spots left!
That’s all I’m ready to share here now, but all will be revealed and launched in late August.
I am very clear on the things I love doing and am focusing on those things only.
This all stemmed from making a commitment to myself to create the extraordinary life I want to create and live.
In terms of my content…
I’ll continue talking about marketing (with an emphasis on email marketing and newsletters) as well as mindset and probably a little spirituality.
I’ve incorporated some of that into my content in the past, but it’s going to be less subtle. 😉
I’m also going to be doing as much as I can to highlight, share and support women in this space.
This doesn’t mean I’ll only talk about women, but I feel a deep pull and, quite honestly, a responsibility to do what I can to raise the awareness of women in this space.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to connect with many amazing men in this space, and I will always share anything that is of value to my audience, regardless of gender…
But it’s time.