22 Sep Living Your Business Dream
I will never forget the moments I realized that I was truly living my dream. There have been a few, and there will be more, because I’m finally on the right path.
I was going to school and working three jobs. My life wasn’t all planned out, yet it was exciting, and completely full. I was working at a local radio station, DJing on the side. The music I played for body-crammed dance floors and invite-only late- night raves was for others, but also made me completely happy. I was in heaven with everything about playing music and moving a crowd. I loved the crowd’s reactions when I fulfilled a song request or I felt the surprise of playing a track few had heard but sent everyone through the roof.
I created a culture. A place for people to move and play freely.
About this time, I had invested nearly every bit of money I made into my first business. I did this because I thought that having a few good entrepreneurial ideas was good enough to propel my business forward and grow the next stage or even a new business.
After the price tag of college, I worked for different San Francisco for temporary agencies. Here, I figured, I’d work out what it was I wanted to do with my college degree. My “boss” would pull coins out of the bottom of her purse to pay me. I remember nights after 10-14 hour days, pulling together enough change for a taco dinner and putting any other rent cash I made into my boot just in case my bag was stolen on the somewhat shifty train home.
You see, back then my thinking about work and money was different. I knew the basics of getting ahead. Yet, I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of the grind mentality. It was a cycle. Work for a goal (like paying my rent), meet the goal, and repeat. Even with my early experiences starting my own businesses, I didn’t yet know about the intricacies of mastering my own mindset.
I remember taking positions in various fields like law or planning because “they paid good money” or they “ensured” some sort of blanket stability like a 401k or free transportation. I’m not saying that this was wrong or that you shouldn’t do what work you need to just to pay for your basic needs. However, I was sacrificing my soul for making very average money in areas that were about the farthest tasks imaginable from what I really enjoyed doing.
After years of this process, I finally realized that by sacrificing the way I worked and the kind of work that “lit me up” I exchanged for status or what I thought was stability for something more important.
It was taking a toll on my mind and my overall health. I told myself stories such as, if I put time into something I truly didn’t enjoy doing now, I could move up into having more freedom to manage people at work. Somehow, the “directing” would make me happy. What happened was working at different law firms for example, in areas that didn’t motivate me often literally made me ill.
What I also didn’t realize at the time is that I didn’t need to make such a sacrifice to get pleasure from my work life. There were so many stories I told myself. Things like, well if I just do this work a while longer, then I can transition to a different industry like moving from legal to marketing. The “longer” often turned into weeks and then months.
One night I realized it was up to me to make a significant change—the change wouldn’t happen without the momentum from me, I quit my stable job where I made a good salary, with stock options and a 401k.
I went into sales. Sales that paid $11 an hour with no benefits. My mind told me it was the right thing to do. My ego told me that I was crazy. That self talk continued to rattle on about how I didn’t have to make such a sacrifice to switch industries, that I was making a mistake. I shouldn’t trust myself that I could do it.
There are moments in our lives that have the power to be the catalyst for tremendous change. These moments are the times that we remember as having changed our course, that we look back on as defining who we are and who we aim to become.
I remember going in for sales orientation and looking at all of those around me, for a signal at what my life would become. When I went home that night, my partner looked at me and said, “You just removed yourself from a job where you made a good five-figure salary, and now you’ll make ¼ of that. If you did something similar to your old job you could at least make what you were making”.
The funny thing is that when I thought about that salary, I laughed for both of us.
I realized he was thinking in the money mindset that I had just set myself free from.
The words that left his lips were such a low-ball numbers. He didn’t understand that I made that move strategically to make quadruple the income that I had made before.
He didn’t understand the mindset. It takes more than doing work for an outcome if you don’t have good strategy. If you are lacking the experience of major transformation, it can be tough to imagine what is possible.
The way I worked, and most importantly, a change that was like any other I had made before, a course correction that would be so large that it would shape my future was what I aimed for. Indeed, it did change everything for me.
In the beginning, the road was very rough. I want to tell you that my mindset journey had easily worked into entrepreneurship. Piece of cake, right? But it wasn’t. Not even close. In fact, the first ¾ of the year in sales looked a lot like working 3 hourly jobs in my college years. Yet, at the end of that ¾ time, I was number 2 on the sales team, bringing in seven figures and in the top % of sales in the company.
I was on a steep learning curve. I was learning new technology in which I needed to quickly ramp up to an expert level. I was tired from the physical labor of running around and moving products and talking to multiple people in problem-solver mode for hours on end. I was not always enthusiastic about the nature of competition and being ranked with my peers over sales quotas and meeting constantly changing expectations.
However despite all of these things, I was proving new things to myself everyday. I wasn’t just saying what I was going to do. No. I was in the trenches. I was learning difficult hands-on lessons everyday. I was impacting the bottom-line of a business and that’s what business is about. The harsh reality of succeeding or not succeeding at selling products and or services is really seen in the success of the bottom-line numbers over time.
If I had known that what I needed to do to succeed at a business was far more than the ability to sell, I may have not jumped in when I did. Yet an inner voice told me to try it. Despite being unpredictable. Despite the hard work and “sacrifices” and my ego telling me I wouldn’t succeed.
A goal in any business is to learn enough to be able to change up what you are doing, to make the business a success, and most importantly, free you up to keep pursuing where you want your life and business to go. You are growing if you are making yourself dispensable (yes, I said dispensable not indispensable), if you are training for your replacement. You are doing it right, if as a business owner, you are able to plan the life you want to live and spark joy in the experiences you choose to create.
I look back on every one of these experiences as necessary for having the knowledge that I do now. Don’t give up on your desires or your mindset. They are equally vital in the evolution to creating a life that matters most.
Do you want to create the freedom in life that you want but feel like something is holding you back? Don’t do it alone. Schedule a 45-minute breakthrough call with me now.