My Journey From “Accidental Entrepreneur” to “Purposeful CEO”
My business will be a whole THREE YEARS OLD in October and the shifts I've had from year to year have been INSANE. I kinda fell into entrepreneurship (I know that's the case for a LOT of service-based entrepreneurs) and I never really stopped to figure out what I really WANTED out of it. I just pursued it because it was the best option for me at the time but eventually started to feel like I was being swept away and overtaken by something that USED to be kinda fun.
I've spent the past 6 months reassessing every square inch of myself and business and this new video gives you an inside peek into some of the things I've been working through, plus some of thing things that have helped me do it:
Here are the major takeaways from the video:
I never intended to be a business owner! You're probably an opportunist like me and just didn't like the alternative of working for someone else for the rest of your life. When an opportunity came to turn my hobby into an income source, I dove in head first. You may even be like me and have felt some success, but still don't feel like you're catching up to your dreams.
Even though I’ve been in business full time since 2016, I actually started working with my firsts clients back in 2012. So for the past 6 or 7 years, I’ve just been sitting here waiting for things to happen to me. It’s very passive, which is why I called myself an “opportunist”. You can contrast that against my mentality now, which is based around what I actually want to be doing day in and day out. This is what ultimately led me to my entire business model switch after 7 years of working one-on-one with design clients!
Something I’ve learned throughout the years is that it’s essential to reframe your failures and setbacks as learning and growth opportunities. Because here’s the thing, you don't learn from getting everything right. No one does! This is why I experiment so much in my business. It helps me understand how to move forward because taking action is what gives you clarity.
Growing a business is full of awkward periods where you feel like you’re wearing the costume of someone else. For me right now, I don’t feel comfortable thinking of myself as a “CEO” even though I used it as my title for this video post. For whatever reason, I just don’t like that term for myself even though I love the idea of taking on that role in my business. I feel like it’s one of those things you just have to “try on” every once in awhile until it starts to feel more comfortable. I equate it to how I felt when I started wearing lipstick — like flashy and “too much” but I also really loved how it made me feel about myself on the inside.
Another big philosophy of mine is I don’t try to learn from everyone. I rather build that trust in myself instead of relying on too many other people to teach me how to do things. Though I’m all about learning so I tend to have 1-2 “mentors” or people I follow along with at a time to glean their insight and perspective.
Generally speaking, I’m not a workaholic (though the past 3 years would tell you a different story). Now that I’m transitioning away from working on my business so much, it’s been surprisingly hard for me to turn my work brain off. It’s been hard to separate myself from my business mentally even when I try to physically get away from work and my laptop. Right now I’m currently working on keeping work in a box that I “open up” at very prescribed times.
I've focused on a good morning routine that’s helping me retrain my brain. My routine gives me something to think about instead of work right when I get up, which somehow helps me with the rest of my day. I try to take nights and weekends off but it isn't perfect.
These are the resources I mentioned in the video that have helped me get to this new mindset level in my business:
Lacey Sites from A Lit Up Life - Lacey has an amazing framework called MSE (mindset, strategy, execution) that’s helped me more clearly see my strengths and weaknesses. This has been essential in helping me figure out how I need to structure my business, offerings and day-to-day routine.
Lacey has a free Facebook group that you can join to watch all of her weekly videos. Lacey was a therapist in a past life and I can tell how much she infuses that experience into her coaching. It really feeds my psychology-loving brain!
She also has a new podcast where she walks you through 6 months of a one-on-one coaching session she recorded with a client. It’s like she’s coaching you and leaves you feeling so much more normal and okay with yourself as a business owner.
The Enneagram - Learning about the Enneagram and what my personality type is has helped me OWN who I am. I love the Enneagram because it also helps you figure out who you are in relationship to other people, and goes over your motivators which helps you understand why you act a certain way.
The Big Leap - One of the most profound books I read in 2018 that helped me find the courage to believe in my vision and keep moving forward in my business during a season of intense burnout!
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck - You can't care about everything which I was suuuper guilty of doing all the time. There are only so many fucks to give, ya know?? :) Reading this book helped me establish what's really, really important to me and is a must-read for any sensitive, overwhelmed creative.
Profit Planner Lounge* - The Profit Planner Lounge has helped me organize my vision in a tactical way. It’s helped me put order and systems around my business and Haley’s structure helps me unpack my thoughts and plan in a natural, organic way. There’s also a really great community you can go to for support and decision-making (which includes me — I would LOVE for you to tag me in the group so I can see the progress you’re making and give feedback)! (*Affiliate link - I may earn a commission if you click through and decide to join me in the lounge!)