Woah. That was a lot of numbers. I haven’t talked about my own business numbers in the past and there are two main reasons for this.
One, I want my CLIENT results to do the talking as to why people should work with me, not what I’m earning.
And two, honestly, I feel a bit weird talking about money like that. It’s probably cultural conditioning, and potentially something I need to get over.
I realise though that people are super curious to see what the business growth path can look like, and what really goes on behind the scenes.
By sharing honestly how it looked for me and what I learned from it, while it is a little revealing, I am hoping that you can learn these lessons without actually having to go through them yourself while growing your business.
So here are my 7 big lessons learned from going from 0 to $20k months in 18 months.
1. You are going to learn a lot about yourself. Strap yourself in for the ride!
I wasn’t aware of this before I started my business. I thought sure, I’d come across some hurdles but nothing that would break my brain or have me having to spend a day in bed because I mean, how hard could it be? I read saw some Facebook posts about people crying on their kitchen floor and honestly thought – really? Come on people!
Until I found myself crying on my balcony feeling like I was on my knees (although not physically actually being on them). There are moments of elation – like hitting the $20k month and moments of serious disappointment along the way.
If you really are going for it there will be times when you don’t want to get out of bed. It is a roller coaster, it has the highs and the lows, and the sooner you loosen your grip a bit the less you’ll feel the bumps.
The truth is starting a business really is the best personal development training you’ll ever get. You are going to be confronted with your stuff – your tendency to procrastinate, your self doubt, your fear of putting yourself out there. And you’ll have to decide what’s worth working on and what isn’t.
It all comes down to how much is getting your message out there mean to you and of course how badly do you want this.
2. Your business idea and business foundation are crucial – don’t skip this
You need to have these pieces in place to grow your business quickly:
- A profitable business idea
- Clear, consistent messaging that articulate the benefits of working with you to your ideal client
- Great offers
If any of these pieces are missing it won’t matter how many webinars you run or what you say in your Facebook ads you’ll never make any sales.
You have to start with the idea, messaging of that idea people understand what you are about and then offers.
Don’t build anything until you are sure you have these pieces right.
If you’d like more info on why this is so important and how to do it join one of my trainings here.
3. If you want to make money quickly start with 1:1
Different business models work for different size businesses.
When you are starting out you are by definition starting from scratch so you need the business model that enables you to earn the most money per client.
And happily working with people one on one also comes with a whole host of other advantages:
- You can start right away
- You get to get paid while you learn what people find most beneficial about working with you, thus honing and refining your work further
- You get to get paid while you build your audience, get testimonials and referrals.
Yes, it does force you to actually get in front of people, even if not in person. But there is no better way to understand your audience and create the best experience for them, thus growing your potential to make money, than with actually working with people.
Once you have a larger audience by all means start leveraging and choose more scalable business models. More on that below.
4. Embrace the hustle and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE learn sales
Business is not going to fall into your lap no matter how fabulous your website looks. I learned this one the hard way by sticking my head in the sand for three months. I spent that time tweaking my website and sales page. Total waste of time.
Once Kendrick Shope got it through to me I really was going to have to speak to people to get decent numbers of clients my business took off.
I also learned from Kendrick that sales doesn’t have to be icky and there began my education in sales. I’ve gone on to learn from many other sales experts thanks to the initial kick up the butt (almost literally) from Kendrick, and I can’t thank her enough for it.
I actually love sales now because it’s all about meeting people, connecting with them and finding out how I can help them. And sometimes helping them may mean referring them to someone else and that’s totally okay.
If you haven’t hit this point yet please commit to working on getting there. Your bank balance and your clients will thank you for it.
5. Scale as quickly as possible
Once you are getting booked up and in the flow you want to raise your prices. I did this after my first five clients.
Then you want to create premium packages. I did this in month 11 and had a $25k launch.
By the time you have your process so down pat that you know exactly the journey that a new client is going to go through it’s time to scale.
I did my $25k launch so I could spend the time I usually spent on ongoing marketing to create my first group program. That was what enabled me to hit the $20k months.
I ran that group program for over a year and set up an automated webinar sales funnel so that I had a constant stream of people coming in to speak to about joining.
If you are creating group products you either need the email list size to fill them or you need to have a process in place to bring in new leads and turn them into clients.
The next level for me of scaling for me has been my online program IGNITION which takes people from no idea to solid business foundation and paying clients in as little as 35 days. You can learn more about that here.
6. You are going to find your money blocks
When you hit your first really big month you will have a massive rush. You’ll be excited and hopefully go out and buy yourself something awesome. Yes, please do this!
I didn’t actually buy myself anything – face palm. I invested most of the money back into the business. But I did hit those numbers while I was in Byron Bay celebrating my birthday month. Woop woop!
Getting back to learning #1. I have since learned that I am a really competitive person, despite years of believing the opposite and I didn’t celebrate the first of those big months that much because I felt like it wasn’t a big deal and other people were doing way better. That’s why I didn’t buy myself anything or do anything special because of it.
In fact I did the “it’s no big deal I should be doing better” thing for four months before changing my business model which by definition means a change in revenue.
Now I know I was being an idiot not celebrating. It’s all part of the learning process. :-)
Once you hit a number that sounds big to you you may well find that you hit a ceiling, which experts in the field often call a money block.
No matter what you do, you can’t get past that ceiling. This happened to me. My business model was set up so that I could earn up to $50k a month but I never got past $25k with that model, even with a ton of automated processes in place.
Why? Because at a subconscious level I was afraid of the responsibility the increased client numbers would bring. Even though logically I knew my business was fully set up for it and I really wanted to help people.
At the time I would have argued with you until I was blue in the face that I wanted more clients. I had to work with a specialist, Sabina Lawrence, to uncover my money blocks and work through them. And this ultimately led to me changing how I work with clients.
If you find yourself stuck at a certain income level and you are literally doing “everything right” and nothing can shift it it’s time to look deeper as to what is going on.
7. Business growth isn’t linear
Business has seasons just like every other area in life and these will be different depending on what niche you are in. For me the summer holidays and Christmas are slower times. You are actually unlikely to make the same money every month. It will more likely go up and down even if it keeps a general upward path.
You personally will have seasons too. Sometimes you’ll want to go hard and hit some big goals and other times you’ll want to be cruisey. I like to do less in summer.
Both of those are okay. There’s an ebb and flow.
Know that when you hit a new income level it doesn’t automatically mean it will stay there. You may well have a freak out and have a bad month the next month. You might burn out and need a change. Any number of things can happen and it’s not a failure to adjust if you need to.
The sooner you learn that the better you feel. Sometimes you have to take a step to take 3 steps forward and that’s ok. I took time out after my series of big months to create Ignition and it was absolutely the right path to grow my business.
So the core of the message?
It’s not all about strategy, mindset set backs and money block are real. Getting ahead in business is going to be as much about having your head in the right place as it is about doing the right things.
There are certain structures and systems you can use to accelerate your success and you should absolutely use them, but ultimately your path is your own. Some people want to throw everything at it and get wherever “there” is faster. Other people prefer to take longer. It’s all okay.
Celebrate your own journey. Don’t be an idiot like I was and wait until it seemed more impressive happened. We hear it from everywhere but it is the journey not the destination that matters.
Now I’d love to hear from you
What have you learned on your business journey?
Did any of my experiences happen to you or resonate with you?
Let me know in the comments below…