business Apr 27, 2020

To celebrate my 34th birthday, I wrote out a list of my biggest business and life lessons so far.

Yes, my twenty something ladies – your 30s are awesome. And for my 40s and above friends – I can’t wait to learn your wisdom too!

These are my life and business lessons. Big and small. Just random things that make me happy.

It doesn’t matter where you live

I jokingly said today that I live on Facebook, which is kinda true.

I truly believe that female entrepreneurs live on our own little planet these days. We’re not confined to a geographic area. Living in a small town is no barrier to having a successful business.

I happen to live right now in Australia but I could be happy anywhere.

However, lifestyle is SUPER important to me. As much as I love London, I couldn’t live there again.

If sun makes you happy, live in a sunny country. Ditto for snow, mountains, or lakes. I need to live near water. I know that about myself now and it’s non-negotiable.

A beautiful environment will increase your income

My income doubled when I upgraded from small shitty apartment to a waterfront penthouse and it wasn’t as expensive as I assumed it was. I gave up the stress of saving for a house deposit and rented instead. Best. Decision. Ever.

Worth giving up other expenses for a nice house. (Nicer doesn’t always mean bigger by the way)

I know I said it doesn’t matter where you live, but seriously, surround yourself with beautiful things. It makes you feel SO much more abundant.

It’s really awesome to have a cleaner

I had a cleaner long before I could afford it. Life’s too short to clean your own house. Eventually they’ll do it just as good as you (or better in my case).

I’d go without food to pay for my cleaner. Yes, some people will judge you for being “lazy”, but it’s AWESOME.

Fun fact though – as soon as the cleaner leaves, you’ll have the urge to go take a big dump in the toilet. It’s like clockwork. Weird…

Separate quilts are essential in Winter

OMG – this changed my life this past Winter. Instead of fighting all night over our quilts, we each had our own. BLISS.

I love how often the simplest solution is often the best. It requires no behaviour change or will-power. But it avoids a LOT of sleepy fights.

Now, if I could just convince Mark on the benefits of separate beds… 

Don’t launch anything on your birthday

Seriously. It ruins your day.

Before I had a business, I’d spend my birthday out shopping by myself, getting a massage and eating a lovely lunch.

I launched my first book “Lucky Bitch” on my 33rd birthday and it was the most stressful thing EVER. This post doesn’t count because I wrote it yesterday.

It might sound like a nice gimmick, but it’s THE WORST. Trust me.

Say it often enough and people will believe you

The weirdest thing is that if you say “I’m an author”, “I have my own company”… people totally take you at face value!

Eventually you’ll start believing it yourself

It takes a few months of saying it out loud to others, and one day you’ll wake up and go “Holy shit – I really am doing this!”

You’re already in it

“It” being the right path.

“Here” and “there” aren’t light-years apart, you’re already on the journey. Remind yourself that you’ll still be the same person when you get to your destination, because you’re already in the process of becoming.

(By the way, you’re in the journey, even if you change the direction – that’s part of the journey too)

Mistakes don’t mean you’re a bad person

So you had a typo or a broken link. No big deal. You screwed up.

I used to get a really panicked feeling when I made a tiny mistake – like it was the end of the world. I am a TERRIBLE person.

Mistakes are inevitable in business. Most of the time they are fixable and not that big of a deal. Tomorrow you’ll feel better about it.

When I learned this, I started being MUCH more compassionate to myself.

Refund requests don’t mean that you’re a shitty entrepreneur

The first refund request is SO BAD. OMG – they don’t like me! They hate my stuff. I’m a terrible person.

They do get easier. Especially when you have a process in place.

Again, when you accept that refunds are an inevitable part of business, you’ll feel much better about them.

You can still be loving, giving AND rich

It’s not a mutually exclusive state of being.

You can still volunteer if you want, and give your time and energy away.

You’re allowed to be rich. It’s not going to change you or shrink your big heart.

Jet-lag is a state of mind

If you can just stay up the WHOLE day and go to be no earlier than 9pm, you’ll be fine the next day.

Yep, it’s tiring but just keep repeating to yourself “I don’t believe in jet-lag

Take extra water on the plane with you

I buy at least three litres after I’ve been through security.

It’s probably the best travel tip I can give. Helps with jet-lag too.

It’s actually worth it to collect reward points

I suspect that most people in business class don’t actually pay for it. They’ve upgraded using points.

If you travel a lot, get the extra points, pay for the lounge membership and get the hotel rewards program.

My $200 Intercontinental membership has CHANGED the way I travel. Guaranteed free room upgrade, free fruit and gifts on arrival and 4pm checkout. Worth SO much if you’re travelling all the time.

Basically, make life easy for yourself.

You don’t ALWAYS need a high priced coach

I realised that I had spent tens of thousands of dollars on coaching and personal development, but I was reluctant to spend money on advertising or to hire someone to help.

Sometimes you need coaching and accountability. Sometimes you need something else.

Even if you’re a personal development junkie – you’re not a loser if you spend the money elsewhere in your business.

You probably don’t need EVERY course

Especially if you’re not implementing. No course alone will make you a million bucks.

Consciously choose a gap in your knowledge and find the best course for that specific thing.

This was the hardest for me – I wanted EVERY course and felt left out. Here’s the other thing – there’s not much new stuff out there.

Don’t look to your friends and family for business validation

First, not all of them will understand your business and the harsh truth is that not everyone will be supportive. Keep those relationships for other things.

Find a few really awesome entrepreneurial girlfriends

Mine are awesome and it’s REALLY hard to achieve business success without them.

They help me when I’m feeling down (and they’d NEVER suggest I get a job)

They inspire me to do better.

NLP works – use it ethically

I finally know this about myself. I am super susceptible to marketing techniques. NLP works on me like CRAZY. I literally become a YES robot.

It means that I can’t go to a conference that will have a strong sales pitch. I will buy shit I don’t need.

Funnily enough, it doesn’t work for infomercials. Only high priced coaching and info products! If you use NLP in your marketing, use it ethically.

Give it away

If you’re busting your butt to create something that you’re selling for ten bucks – just give it away and concentrate on creating a higher priced offering.

Give away your best stuff.

There’s always more ideas to come.

It’s okay to ignore email

I have a pretty strict autoresponder that says the email isn’t read – and it really isn’t. If it’s important, they can forward it to another email address that actually does get checked. But I expressively ask that they don’t send pitches, interview requests for ask me to answer individual questions. Some people ignore that and ask anyway.

I don’t answer private messages on Facebook or Twitter. My voice mail messages says “I don’t listen to these, so don’t leave me a message” (Only my mum leaves me messages… I ignore them and just call her back)

Some people FREAK out about this. They think it’s rude and unprofessional.

I’ve made my peace with it and life is MUCH more peaceful without constant email.

Size really does matter

You know how people say you need a big list to be successful in business? Seriously, it really helps. I have over 13,000 people now and it’s SO MUCH EASIER TO MAKE MONEY.

If a book sucks, you can put it down

I used to worry about hurting the book’s feelings. Now I’m like – this shit sucks, and I put it down.

Kindles are the BOMB – why did I wait so long?

I went on a six month holiday and I had book anxiety. I took ten with me and read them in the first week. The rest of the trip was a scavenger hunt to find a book, any freaking book to read. I read some of the worst books known to mankind purely because they were the only one left in the hotel’s lending library.

Don’t be a book snob. Kindles are the shit. They save paper and they are brilliant for fast readers. The only bad thing is that you have to put them away for ten minutes either side of a flight (then you’ll have to read the crappy inflight magazine).

Never be without a book again. It’s horrible.

If you write a book, people think you’re clever

It’s the weirdest thing. A book equals instant credibility – even if you self-publish!

And… they’ll finally think you have a “proper business”

Most people don’t understand coaching. Your family will ask you time and time again what a brand consultant actually does, or ask you how you’re qualified to coach people.

But everyone understands books.

Seriously, writing a book changed my business. Write one. Pretend it’s a school project and you’ve got a strict deadline. Even if you do it in the last 24 hours of your deadline, you can change it in future editions.

It’s totally okay to quit when things aren’t working

I almost gave myself permission to stop here – why did I agree to 34 things!?

But seriously – even if you said you would, even if you have people relying on you – it’s okay to change your mind and quit.

Hustling makes things happen

Honestly, my first two years of business was a non-stop hustle fest. Now I can take it easy a bit. But the passive income doesn’t come without a LOT of groundwork.

Most people aren’t really paying attention

Have you counted how many lessons there are? Are there really 34. Who cares?

Honestly, most people just don’t notice what you’re doing. Relax.

Most gurus are making it up as they go along too

You’re ready to start spreading your message.

Nobody will give you permission, so just start.

Everyone is scared

An absence of fear isn’t the goal.

Every successful person had to work with a lot of fear to get where they are.

But guess what?

The fear never goes away. You never get to a place where it doesn’t exist.

You’ll just be scared of different stuff.

Decide if you like it BEFORE you look at the price tag

And every now and then stretch yourself to buy out of your comfort zone. But only for stuff that you really love and will make you feel like a million bucks.

It’s okay to be expensive

Earning awesome money will free you up to create a lot of valuable free content.

Nobody will miss out.

You got this

You totally do.

Denise xx


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