When I toiled through the gut-wrenching failure and growth experience that led me to start this business… My journey was marked by 12 epiphanies*. These spontaneous ah-ha moments remain and foundation of everything I teach, sell and believe in.
* Although I do reserve the right to add to this list as I keep learning and growing!
These 12 epiphanies (or as I like to call them, ‘the 12 major shifts’), defined a whole an entire year of my life and everything wonderful that has transpired since.
It is my belief that as we can adopt and truly accept these fundamental ‘truths’, we get closer and closer to true freedom & fulfilment.
1. I don’t need to be skinnier, wealthier, more confident or more experienced
to deserve what I want or to achieve what I deserve. I have everything I need, RIGHT NOW, to be successful. I don’t need to wait anymore. I am good enough as-is, and I am ready to do the work.
2. Time is my most precious resource.
It is worth more than money and should be invested purposefully – I will not spend it on things simply because I feel guilt or obligation. I will not spend it on things that make me feel resentful.
Resource: Need help with this one? Read: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide) by Sarah Knight
3. My business is NOT my baby.
It is NOT my identity. It is an experiment that I am free to quit, change or cancel at anytime. I do not exist to support my business, it exists to support me.
Resource: Need help with this one? Read: Any of the books about Richard Branson (an entrepreneur who has had plenty of experience with failed experiments) and The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
4. I leave empty space in my days and my life
and I do not let my business expand to fill it. Instead, I choose to curate more parts of my life that are equally as important, fulfilling, challenging and interesting as my business. This includes scheduling in and prioritizing relationships, self care and *gasp* FUN & PLAY (note to self: find out what I think is fun and learn how to play)
5. Happiness will not happen by accident.
If I don’t define where I want to go, the loudest voices and most urgent needs around me will decide for me. My happiness matters enough to put the work in to define and chase it!
6. Success will not be determined by what I create
or by how badly I want something. It will be what I am willing to endure and let go of that will determine how successful I am at taking action to realize my big dreams.
Resource: Need help with this one? Watch this video – a speech I gave at Women in the Pet Industry Conference
7. Ego often looks and feels a lot like good sense.
Limiting beliefs often look and feel like truth. I must ask myself ‘why is this important’ and ‘is that true’ when feeling intense pressure from a thought, task or obligation.
8. What I focus on will attract more of the same
So I choose to invest energy only in the things that fill me up and light me up.
9. Busy and efficient are false measures of accomplishment.
The goal is to be effective. Being busy and good at getting a lot done in one day are not enough to make a REAL impact in my life and goals
10. Growth is not linear, it’s cyclical.
There will be ups and downs and ups again. The high is followed by the low and vice versa. I will take comfort in this inevitable, endless cycle and know that I am as sure to be influenced by it as the tide is by the moon. I’m not doing it wrong, it’s just the normal way of things!
11. Everything good lives on the other side of fear.
Fear will always be present, but it doesn’t have to be in control. Facing, tackling and uncovering new fears is one of the many thrilling benefits of being alive. If your goal is to never be uncomfortable or scared, you’re going to miss out on the very best parts of life. Bravery is by definitely, uncomfortable.
12. I am building a brand instead of just a business
As an entrepreneur, I am more likely to achieve the freedom and fulfilment I desire, by aligning what I sell with what I believe, and building a brand instead of JUST a business. Just about ANYTHING can be monetized – you CAN make money doing what you love no matter what it is!!! You simply have to build a brand around it (and a few other small secrets – check out my book below for a step-by-step guide!)
Resource: Need help with this one? Grab my book: Million Dollar Dog Brand: An Entrepreneur’s Essential Guide to Creating Demand, Profit and Influence
I believe that success comes faster and easier to an entrepreneur who accepts and lives these 12 realities. Now obviously, we are not perfect beings, so our journey will looks more like a roller coaster or spin art (remember spin art!?) than it does an upward trending graph (see #10) That’s just how it is.
So the goal is not to be perfect, but whole. The pursuit of perfection is a futile one… as Elizabeth Gilbert says in Big Magic, ‘Perfectionism is just a high-end, haute couture version of fear’. You’re not fooling anyone (especially yourself) so go on, give in to the imperfection and wear it like a badge of honor. Roll up your sleeves and focus instead on making that money and building momentum.