Here’s the honest truth – it took me five years working full time to crack the million dollar mark in my business. It didn’t happen over night and it didn’t happen by accident.
I didn’t just “start a blog” and people threw money at me. This isn’t even my first ever blog (I’m not counting that in my five years calculation), and this is definitely not my first business (that would have been my bracelet business back in 1988).
My business is pretty chilled… now. Okay – so I don’t work in a kombi van or do my blog posts on the beach before taking a surf, but I also don’t work really long hours (most of the time) or stress myself out.
But – that doesn’t mean that it’s been easy.
I’ve been hustling for a LONG time. I’ve been speaking, writing, teaching and developing programs for about 15 years – and only really became successful in the past five years. So yeah – even the title, five years to a million dollar business is slightly misleading.
My first paid public speaking job was in 1996. I ran my first personal development conferences in 1999. I chaired leadership conferences in about ten countries between 2000-2003. I created a sales and marketing bootcamp in 2004.
My first ever online business was my ebook, “Internet Dating for Men” (catchy title, right?) back in 2003-ish. But seriously, if Fiverr was around when I was at Uni, I would have been all OVER that, doing the most random stuff.
But you know what? I made hardly any money out of any of these ventures – not because I wasn’t smart enough. Because I had huge blocks and resistance to it.
Plus I had an ill-fated corporate career too. Wearing a suit gave me hives and the nervous sweats. I used to drop my pencil when my boss walked past so I could hide under my desk. I went from moments of brilliance, to pure boredom. I was the ultimate clock-watcher even though I always hit my deadlines.
Man – life as entrepreneur is very different, and I can say that I’ve earned every bit of the freedom and abundance I have now.
I started out the old school way. I ran in-person free goal setting workshops around town and then pitched my coaching services at the end. It was awesome making money for myself, but there was huge limitations to that model:
1 – working every Saturday
2 – filling the workshops (I put physical fliers up around time)
3 – putting on a bra, makeup and high heels to run the workshops
4 – there was a limit to how many clients I could handle face to face.
I knew there must be a better way.
Over the next five years, I released a book, several courses and built up an online presence. I basically doubled my revenue every year with consistent effort. I was NOT an overnight success. There were lots of late nights, big mistakes, experimenting but above all DETERMINATION.
Some people do it WAY faster. Some people do it WAY slower, or not at all.
I actually don’t think it’s a matter of time – it’s usually how quickly you’re willing to go through certain rites of passage, and learning how the marketing game works.
Like learning the basics – having something simple for sale and selling it to someone. Getting your first “hater”. Getting disciplined enough to send out a weekly newsletter and coping with the inevitable unsubscribes. Honestly, a lot of people fall at that hurdle.
The grind of doing, doing, doing and not seeing much in return in the early days. Of telling your friends and family what you do, and grinning through their concern or advice.
Of crying when something has fucked up and you don’t know why – like your website shutting down unexpectedly or you sent out important emails with the wrong link.
Getting through the 3am sweats where you wonder if you should just get a job… any job… maybe a nice easy waitress shift, so you don’t have to deal with the insecurity, anxiety and utter vulnerability of being an entrepreneur.
Then realising that you hated working for others and being an entrepreneur is in your blood.
But then… you get your first client sale and the elation is totally worth it. Your newsletter list slowly climbs and you think…
Maybe I can do this….?
Then later – refining your business further so you work in your zone of genius. Learning to delegate. Getting clear on your message, what you can offer people and more importantly, what you CAN’T offer. Knowing what makes you unique in the market place.
More ups and downs. Feeling lonely because your friends don’t understand. Facing new rites of passage.
Not everyone makes it through to be honest. Lots of people quit – not because they aren’t smart enough, but because it’s fucking HARD sometimes. Being in business is really not easy, especially if you’re doing it by yourself.
I wasn’t born knowing how to create a million dollar business and neither were you. A marketing degree didn’t help me. Being smart didn’t particularly help either!
I learned to be successful from others. From mentors, courses and by surrounding myself with an amazing entrepreneurial community.
Yes, I’m talking about B-School.
Marie Forleo’s B-School (an 8 week online marketing course), is THE decision in my business that turned everything around.
Yes, I’ve done other awesome courses that I love and recommend, but hand on heart, this was the one that changed everything for me.
I’m a proud graduate of 2011, and I’m still a part of the B-School community EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s still changing my business, years later (and you only pay once! Crazy!)
I can’t promise that you’ll create a million dollar business in five years (you might not even want that). But Marie will show you how to get started, or how to grow what you’ve already begun, and I can help you with the money mindset part.
I want you to think ahead a few years. Will you be exactly where you are right now, or will your business be thriving and supporting your lifestyle? Will you be on track with your goals?
I know that this is YOUR year when you can look back and think “That’s when it all changed for me”
It’s your time and you’re ready for the next step,
* I ended up cracking the million dollar mark by age 35. Although I was SO WAY off 8 years ago, the last few years have accelerated really quickly. B-School was a huge part of that for me.