Have you ever felt like an imposter?
This website started off as a personal development blog. But I have to be honest…during the first six months that I built it, I felt like the least developed human on earth. I felt small.
I kept focusing on (okay, obsessing over) my business. The tactics. The positioning. I kept looking around at what other people were doing, feeling bad, wishing I could just copy them so that everything would be taken care of.
What I realize now is that I needed to go through all of that. My business was giving me a gift. It was asking me to lead.
Of course, this was really scary for me, because it meant that I was the only thing standing in my way. My fears, doubts, limiting beliefs. My productivity. My ability to make sound marketing decisions and sell with confidence.
It took me six months of working on my business to make my first $1,000. Then, in under two months of working on myself, I broke $10,000. Kind of spooky.
Here's the truth: If you’re not growing, neither is your business. If you’re business is stuck, it’s because you’re stuck.
You are the problem. Not your niche, not your website, not your clients. You.
Deep down, we all know this. But we drown it out. We surround ourselves with tools, tips, and tactics. We buy courses that don’t address the root issue. We believe that as soon we find the perfect system, everything else will be easy.
It’s time to surrender that belief.
Any success I've had in the past -- as an wrestler, as a boyfriend, as a business owner -- has come from a very counterintuitive paradigm shift.
I used to tell myself that once I became an All-American, then I would be happy. Once I got the girl, then I would be complete. Once I left my job, that's when I would finally be fulfilled.
Well, I had it backwards. Every. Single. Time.
Forget about the tactics for a second. Forget about the outcome. Make yourself whole first.
Especially if you run your business solo. Double that if you provide a service. Because then you literally are your business. There is a direct correlation between your development and your business’s ability to generate revenue.
And if, by some miracle, you get so good at the tactics that you're able to expand your revenue without expanding yourself, you'll eventually be crushed by the weight of your business. Sure, you might be able to game the system for a little while, but not for long.
Your health will give out. Your relationships will suffer. Your business will fail.
And then you'll have missed out on the best part of business growth, which is the personal growth that comes along with it. You’ll get to the six figures and still not be satisfied. Because it will still be you and your shitty life. Your circumstances may have changed, but you haven't.
When I decided to start my business, I spent the first three weeks trying to find the perfect URL. Three weeks.
I lost countless nights of sleep thinking about my niche, only to decide that my target market was millennials (it wasn't).
Then I almost paid a designer $862 for a logo. For a business that didn't even exist. It’s really embarrassing for me to admit that.
I was “playing” business instead of “doing” business. I was creatively avoiding out of fear. I was worrying about the facade instead of the foundation.
Let me be clear: None of the surface stuff really matters. And it’s all going to change.
(Speaking of which, MillennialCompass.com is still available if anyone wants it.)
Eventually I just stuck with my own name, wrote about what I was learning in an actionable way, and still haven’t had a logo designed.
I'm not recommending that you do exactly what I did. I'm just telling you what's worked for me. Your path will probably be different.
When you feel yourself get stuck, when you feel yourself going in circles, stop.
The only constant in your business is you.
Focus on that.
You can't grow your business until you grow yourself.