We are back, and better than ever. The Business of Becoming is shifting to seasons so we can ensure that we have the time to bring to you the best content, expert guests, and add a bit of time between episodes, to improve the caliber of each show.
So WELCOME! To the first season of the Business of Becoming!
I am kick-starting this season with a celebration - In 2011, I launched my first ever online workshop, so this year marks my 10th year online! Believe me when I tell you that it has been one of the wildest rides of my life, and I want to share with you the top 10 lessons (plus a bonus one) that I have learned from being online.
But that's not all. I am also taking this celebration over to Instagram, where for the next 10 days we are going to be giving away 5 fabulous prizes from Canadian based companies. Want to be entered into the draws? Yah you do! Keep an eye out for our “Giveaway” posts on Instagram, from January 4th - 15th! Make sure you hit that follow button.
Alright, so without further ado, let’s dive into today’s show. My top 10 lessons that I have learned while being online.
Lesson # 1: You don’t start with your dream business
With everything that you see on social media, and what you see other businesses showing online, you might think that you can just walk in and start your dream business. I know I did. I thought everything would be perfect and smooth sailing when I started my nutrition practice, and then I was delusional again when I took my business online. There is no possible way that you can create your dream business in the first 1-3 years, unless you’ve already built the exact same business before and you’re replicating it.
When you are starting, you have no idea what your zone of genius actually is, what you are obsessed with, what feels fun and fulfilling and what you need to stop doing. You do not have the failures, the learning curves, and you have not figured out your footing to instantly have your dream business.
You don’t start out with your dream business-- you need to build it.
Lesson # 2: New level. New devil.
Now I don't say this often, but I couldn’t find anything else to describe this lesson. The lesson is: at every level there are challenges, and quite honestly, the bigger the company gets the more there is at stake.
Every time your company adds on more clients, adds on more employees, and gets to the next rung of financial growth - you enter into a new level of challenges. At one point, I decided that I needed to reframe my thoughts from focusing on the stress of each new challenge, and focus on growth, so that I wouldn't be so triggered.
I reframed my mindset like this: I am here for growth. Growth looks like being stretched and pulled and called to be a version of yourself that continuously rises to the challenge, even when you don’t feel like it. I am here to become the best possible version of me… I guess it comes down to what you believe your purpose on this planet is.
I believe that my purpose is to live up to my fullest potential and if I truly believe that, then how would I know what my fullest potential is if I’m not being challenged to rise up?
So believe me when I say, there is not part of your business journey that is without its challenges, so it’s up to you whether you decide to look at them as positive or negative.
When a challenge occurs, I like to say, ok, right, got it, I asked for this so ok… thank you.
Lesson # 3: Sacrifice is a necessity
I think the word sacrifice has a negative connotation for entrepreneurs, especially those of us who might operate under specific cultural norms, have families, and/or have loads of personal responsibilities. However, although I gave up a lot of things to get to where I am today, it was a deliberate and conscious choice. I gave up certain social things, time with friends and family, time with my kids, alone time, and even self-care. I did it in order to gain the life I desired to live.
If you get the chance to read “Pick Three” by Randi Zuckerberg, I highly recommend it. The concept behind Pick Three has changed the way I felt about my choices. In her book, she outlines 5 areas we focus on: work, sleep, family, fitness and friends. She says to pick 3. At different points in my business journey, my life looked like; family, work, and work. At other times it looked like; work, family and sleep. Now it’s; family, sleep and work.
My choices are deliberate. They are not because I feel like I have to, they are because I want to. So if you’re feeling resentful about the amount of time you’re spending on your work, make a different choice and realize the consequences of that choice. Are you ok with them? If the answer is yes then there is no need to feel like you’re sacrificing anything because you've made a deliberate choice.
Lesson # 4: Permission to stop/kill revenue streams
Nothing in business is finite and as the business owner, we get to decide what we offer, what we price it at, and for how long we offer it. I remember the day when I realized that I didn’t have to continue to offer something just because I had it or just because it made me money or just because people liked it.
More importantly than that stream of revenue, for me, is the need for me to feel excited about my business and to want to wake up at 5am daily to grind. I have to feel obsessed and love every single thing I put out into the world. I realize that not all business owners operate in this fashion, but I do.
Lesson # 5: Permission to change your mind
Ok, this lesson is important and it’s the one thing about me that I think might frustrate some of the people on my team...I change my mind. A lot.
And I’ve learned over the years that it’s my right as the founder, CEO and leader to do so even when others don’t understand or feel frustrated by it.
I have a lot of ideas and sometimes those ideas turn into project plans and those project plans turn into offers that we release and sometimes those project plans get killed halfway through because I realize that either whatever we’re doing isn’t the path of least resistance or frankly, it just isn’t worth the effort or because we took on too much and now we’re overextended and something has to go.
All of the reasons are ok.
Hear me out on this, it’s your business and there is no need to stay stuck with a decision just because you’re afraid of the consequences of changing your mind.
Lesson # 6: Hire team members before you need them
Let me ask you a question. What is your time worth? I’m serious. Do you know what your hourly rate is? If your time is worth $150 and you want to increase that to $300 and then $1,000, then why are you doing tasks that you can pay someone $20 to do?
Back in the day when I would complain that I couldn’t get everything done, and that I had no time, my business coach asked me to assess my hourly rate. I was mortified. I was doing $15 dollar an hour tasks instead of allocating the time to do the things that earned me $150 or $300 an hour.
So I started to hire people and that’s when everything changed.
Look, did I have the money to hire people? Nope. I often paid myself less so that I could pay their invoices. That’s why sites like Upwork and Fiverr are amazing because you can use a credit card, which is what I did.
I hired a tech person. I hired a virtual assistant to help me create and schedule content. Then I hired Michelle who is now the COO of the company, but back then she did 100 different jobs.
I had no idea how to be a boss. And quite honestly transforming into a CEO has been one of my greatest challenges. Giving up control and giving up a lot of the day to day stuff that made me feel productive, was hard. And necessary.
If you want the business to get ahead, then you need to build a team to help you do that.
Lesson # 7: Track your metrics and use them to make decisions
Metrics. For years I ran my business based on the number in my bank account which is good because it meant I was always in the black when it came to cash flow but it didn’t allow me to project future growth and sometimes the decisions I made were a gamble because I didn't have metrics to back those decisions.
I’m going to be fully transparent here, we didn’t start tracking metrics until 3 years ago and it wasn’t until 2 years ago that we got really granular about it. We still want more data to help us know where to focus our energy.
But now we don’t gamble. We measure and make decisions based on metrics, on our core values, and how we want to feel. If you don’t track your metrics, you won’t know where to focus nor will you feel confident making decisions that predict the future growth of your business.
Lesson # 8: Reach for failure.
Oh this might be the best lesson of them all. I have failed my way to having an 8-figure company... Let me explain.
In Nov. 2019, I sat in a room with other business owners and shared that I wanted my business to make 1 million dollars more than it did the previous year. I thought that was a big goal.
The mentor leading the session asked me why my goal was so low given the fact that I’ve doubled my revenue every year since I started. The only reason why I said 1 million more, was because the number that would be double felt massive and totally out of reach. It felt too big and not achievable.
He asked me why I was playing it safe? Wouldn’t I rather reach for the bigger number, even if I didn’t hit it, I’d finish the year way farther ahead then if I only reached for that 1 million more. Why am I playing it so safe? That's the question that got me. I don’t play anything safe. I am here for growth and the only way to grow is to fail. I’ve come to learn that growth is a bunch of failures turned into lessons that you accumulate along the way.
If I stay small and play it safe, I can’t fail. But then I don’t really get the big wins either. I’ve been able to reframe failure. I have failed so many times on my way to building a global 8-figure company… and I am damn proud of it.
Here’s what I know for sure. It’s in the ‘failures’ that we learn. We don’t learn much when things go smoothly. I am here for growth and that means reaching for failure.
Lesson # 9: Celebrate often
This lesson is meant more as a reminder to me than anything else. I don’t celebrate my success and growth nearly enough. My highest strength is that of an achiever which means I rarely feel satisfied. Hitting goals doesn’t feel fulfilling to me. I don’t get excited by the goal, I get excited by the chase of the goal.
The challenge of the goal is what excites me. Because I know that the challenge of achieving the next thing is where I grow and it’s where I feel the most productive.
I excel at achievement. But I don’t celebrate my achievements, because crossing the finish line and getting the medal isn’t what motivates me. It’s running the race but I acknowledge that for my team, my community and even for my kids, it's important to stop and celebrate the win.
This might sound ridiculous but I’ve added celebration meetings into my calendar for 2021. At the end of the month I am going to have a date with myself and do something celebratory. I scheduled 30 minutes. I’m going to make a list of all of my accomplishments for the month and things I feel proud about. I will celebrate and feel the accomplishment and then I’ll get back to work.
You might think, 30 minutes, that’s not very long. Considering I barely do this now, adding in a new practice is what matters, doing it is what matters.... It doesn’t take me long to feel grateful and proud. It’s the act of doing it that counts.
Lesson # 10: Always the path of least resistance
I saved the best for last. This is my life motto. If whatever I’m doing or feeling doesn’t feel like the path of least resistance, I don’t do it or I find another way.
Now to clarify, do I feel internal resistance like fear and how do I know the difference?
I feel the difference in my gut. Resistance, like doing something outside of my comfort zone, feels like nervous tension in my body, it feels exciting and makes me sweat. It makes me feel vulnerable. When I feel that, I know I’m onto something and I don’t stop or give up. That is not the resistance I am talking about.
The resistance I am talking about feels more like frustration, stress, annoyance, anger.
When I feel those things, I have learned not to push through, to assess the situation and make decisions based on asking myself…. How would this go if it felt easy? What would this look like if it were easy? When I ask myself that question, then it opens up so many other possibilities or alternatives to what I could do instead of it feeling hard, stressful and annoying.
I don’t have enough energy units in my day to feel like I’m constantly battling resistance. I chose for things to be resistance free, so my boundaries are set that way and so are my expectations.
I expect everything to feel simple and easy. When it’s not, it’s up to me to decide how to proceed to ensure that the path of least resistance is being taken.
Right after I finished these 10 lessons, I knew that I needed to share one more... And it is so meaningful to me, that it feels like the perfect added bonus.
Bonus Lesson: Lesson # 11: Learn to love yourself and accept yourself for exactly who you are.
Learn to love yourself and accept yourself for exactly who you are. I might tear up when I explain this one.
For so many years, I didn’t accept my strengths, I viewed them as flaws…
I’m too much. I’m intimidating. I’m too sensitive. I change my mind too much. I don’t pay attention to details.
I have very strong beliefs and am not afraid to share them.
I’m too bossy.
I’m too strong willed. Too ambitious. Too determined.
I’m too quick to act.
I’m rarely satisfied.
My dreams are too big.
I’m too unrealistic.
Basically, I’m too much of a lot of things for a lot of people.
All of those things that others have told me I’m too much of are precisely the strengths that have gotten me to where I am today. I am turning 40 this year, I am in the top 2% of female owned businesses in Canada, I own multiple properties, I am financially stable and basically set. I have 3 companies that all generate a healthy profit. I am happily divorced. I am a present mom. I am a good person. I give back to my community. I help a lot of people. I lead with integrity.
Not in spite of those supposed character flaws but because of them.
Because I’ve done the work to love and accept myself. Other people’s opinions are not my concern. Sure, they are entitled to them and depending on who they are I will listen and do an inventory to see if their opinion carries weight with me but ultimately, the most important lesson I’ve learned over the years is that I am who I am and my flaws are actually strengths and I wouldn’t be where I am without those aspects of who I am.
So the next time someone says to you, you’re so whatever in a passive aggressive way-- say thank you. And smile knowing that you are a total badass.
Ok, now I’m done.
Now I would love to hear from you, head over to Instagram, I’m at @lorikennedyinc and hit that follow button. Send me a DM and let me know which lesson resonated with you the most.
What We Talk About In This Episode:
- You Don’t Start With Your Dream Business
- New Level. New Devil.
- Sacrifice Is A Necessity
- Permission To Stop/Kill Revenue Streams
- Permission To Change Your Mind
- Hire Team Members Before You Need Them
- Track Your Metrics And Use Them To Make Decisions
- Reach For Failure.
- Celebrate Often
- Always The Path Of Least Resistance
- Learn To Love Yourself And Accept Yourself For Exactly Who You Are
- “Pick Three” By Randi Zuckerberg,
Things We Mention In This Episode:
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Let’s Keep The Conversation Going…
Do you feel like you are stuck with a particular business idea, or are you fluid as things change? Have you been through a personal transformation that affected your business? I would love to hear all about it and I’m sure others would too. Comment below and share your story or visit me on Instagram which is currently my favourite way to connect.
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