February 1, 2019 marked the one year anniversary of saying goodbye to the 9-5 job and saying hello to working for myself full time. The depth and breadth of growth has both challenged and delighted me. I have learned more about myself than I could ever imagine, and I’ve had the chance to partner with truly phenomenal people. Instead of just telling you the lessons learned, I thought I would write a letter of insight to myself back on that cold February 1st day in 2018 when I woke up as my own boss.
Today is the day! The day you dreamed about for 10 years, planned for the past 5, and worked like hell to speed up for the past 6 months. I know you are eager to get started; you have emails to send, office furniture to buy and a presentation to prep. But take some time to take it all in and listen to these wise words (you’ll thank me later!) My first piece of advice isn’t actually mine, but Nick’s advice from last night:
Pause and Celebrate
Nick reminded you to celebrate this exciting moment. Remember his advice as your business continues to grow. You have so many firsts coming up this year; from the first workshop in your studio, to your first five-figure month, to your first audience of over 1000, to your first video, to building your first team and so many more. Here’s the thing, you are going to be so busy in the details, that sometimes you will forget to look up to see how far you have come. You will be more focused on what you haven’t done that you will miss out on what you have. I promise you the work will always be there, the inbox will always be full, but these moments, these firsts won’t. Please take time to pause and to celebrate not only what you have accomplished, but those who have supported you along the way…especially Nick.
I know right now you are feeling super excited, but also really stressed by managing the moving pieces and the dropped balls. You feel like a failure at times because you can’t remember where you kept those client notes or how much you said you were going to charge. What you don’t know is that within this first week you will have an appointment with your psychologist where you will get the results back from your testing. And yes, you will be diagnosed with ADHD. It won’t surprise you but you will shed tears of relief and sadness. You will learn about how brilliant your brain is, but you’ll also understand why your memory fails you. You will learn about your challenges with time blindness, which are still struggles in 2019. It’s ok. Because you know what you are going to do…
Build a brilliant team
Yes, you will build a team faster than feels comfortable for you and, honestly, everyone on the outside looking in. Your brain is brilliant, but it is busy, and you need to surround yourself with people who can help you create structures, so you can do what you do best. It won’t be comfortable at first making this investment so early on. But it will pay off because you are not building a team for the work you are doing today, you are building a team for the work you will be doing tomorrow. By the end of the year, you will have assembled one of the most cohesive, powerful teams you’ve ever worked with. Together you will go after goals you didn’t think possible because instead of carrying the shame of your ADHD, they will help you unleash its full power.
You will feel lulled into the trap that since this is your first year you shouldn’t invest a ton into your business but that is B.S. So instead of playing it safe? I want you to…
Buy shoes a few sizes too big
Remember when you were younger, mom would buy shoes or that uniform skirt a few sizes too big because she knew you would eventually grow into them? I want you think like that for your business. Take on clients that work your edge, charge a number that makes you feel uncomfortable, make investments that seem bigger than where you are and play at a level beyond where you are now. Just like those shoes and that skirt, you will grow into those decisions. In fact, not only will you grow into those decisions, they will open up even greater possibilities for you and the company.
I know you want to get on with your first day, just a few more things to remember:
- The struggle for self-care is real.
- There will come a point where it is no longer about you but about something larger you are building.
- Don’t take Nick for granted. He is going to be your rock and biggest cheerleader. Work is going to create some serious distractions for you and it will be easy to not make your time together a priority.
Ok, get on with your day, you have impact to create.
Sarah from the future