I recently learned that one of my sheros who runs a wildly successful international business (think multiple seven figures) nets—as in, holds onto and pays herself, less than I do.
It was a sucker punching revelation, because it aligned with what I’d been hearing from many peers a few paces ahead of me over the last few months. More gross revenue had recently not been breeding more net revenue.
As the cost of Facebook leads skyrocket, more people opt-in for free trainings they don’t attend, and email management systems send more emails directly to spam, it’s easy to feel like making money online is a fool’s game.
I’ve felt this frustration, to be sure. Although I wildly exceeded my 2017 gross revenue goals, I only modestly exceeded my net revenue projections. Plus, I’m working harder and longer than I envisioned I would be at this stage of my business. (This is my eleventh dang year in business; where’s my four-hour work week?!) I feel profoundly the ever-present tension of “reinvest and scale,” or “slow down and risk stagnating growth and profitability.” The last twelve months have provided some epic highs, but I don’t want to tap dance around the truth that they’ve also provided some pretty epic lows.
When I set my 2018 goals at the end of last year, my initial instinct was to “top myself.” You know, double 2017 income. Lay the foundation for a new book deal. License the content of my book to organizations. But I checked myself, and I decided to go in a different direction…at least for the first part of the year.
When I reach the pearly white gates, I’m pretty sure God isn’t going to ask me how many times I launched a program in a given year, but I may get a question about how many puppet shows I performed with my kiddo—and I want to be proud of that latter answer.
And here’s the thing. Most nights I pray my daughter will let me watch (rather than perform) the nightly puppet show because I’m really freaking tired by the end of the day. Tripling my private client load, writing a book, onboarding a husband, and raising a precocious preschooler this last year has meant that my own self-care and white space often land at the bottom of my to-do list.
My first quarter goal of the year has therefore pivoted to—reprioritize my family (and personal) health and wellness. Now, while our family has literally not been so well—we have endured four separate viruses since the second week of December 2017 (thank you preschool!)—for a lot of the six months we’ve been together as a threesome since Steve joined the business full-time, our dis-ease as a family has been subtler. Steve and I have had diminished patience—with each other, but above all, with our daughter. We often find ourselves choosing to postpone vacations and even staycations—because clearing our schedule for a few days feels like it will accelerate rather than alleviate stress. And don’t get me started on the waves of panic that get released every time I look ahead in my calendar and see another week of half-days at our daughter’s school.
One of the many reasons I decided to put on my big girl skivvies and grow my business into our family’s primary source of income was to facilitate freedom. And as I now know, income is one piece of freedom. But it ain’t the only one!
In a recent Facebook Live, I shared what I’m working on to recalibrate and ensure my speaking business is truly supporting the life I want, rather than the other way around. In the video, I delved into what is working, because a lot actually is, how I make decisions about when (and how) to travel for speaking gigs, and I offer up some suggestions and guiding questions for how to meaningfully integrate your family into your business—whatever stage you may be in.