You’ve heard me talk about my deep-rooted belief in success without sacrifice. That your business should support the life you want, not strain it, and you shouldn’t have to give up what matters most to you in life to have a successful business.
But recently I realized something:
I actually did give up a lot to get where I am today, but not necessarily in the way you might think. Most people don’t realize that this kind of shift is required to get their businesses to the next level.
For you to be as successful as you want to be, you might have to give up these things, too, and that’s why I’m laying it all out for you today.
Don’t miss this one. It’s quick, potent, and game-changing.
Giving Up the Option to Go Back to My Previous Job
One thing was clear when I quit my corporate job: I did not want to go back.
But there’s a difference between not wanting to go back and not giving myself the option to go back.
For me, in order to make sure my business worked and I didn’t have to go back to a corporate job, I had to put my ass on the line and take the option of going back off the table.
This kind of mindset shift isn’t about putting yourself in a high-risk situation, but setting your mind on the right track. My mind track at the time: By golly, this will work!
To ensure your ultimate success, you’ve got to give up the option to go back to your old job (or whatever that equivalent would be for you). Even when you hit a rough patch, even when success feels impossible, even when you have a bad day, week, or month… remain steadfast that you will make make your business work and you won’t go back to a job you hate.
My personal recommendation for you: I Eff’d Up: How I Failed My Way to Success.
Giving Up Distractions
Running an online business as a one woman show requires not only a ton of work but also a ton of discipline and focus. To be successful, you can’t give into the “squirrel” moments, chase shiny objects, or be drawn off track by the allure of Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope.
To get it all done without working late nights and long weekends, you’ve got to give up letting distractions pull you from your focused action plan.
Giving Up Crappy Thinking
Left unmonitored, a single bad moment can get the better of you, and when you’re a small business owner, a bad moment can arrive in the blink of an eye. Whether someone leaves a negative comment on your Facebook page or you see a competitor celebrate a huge win, opportunities to get down on yourself are always there.
But you can’t let that kind of crappy thinking bring you down.
My personal recommendation for you: The 3 A’s of Success: Increase Your Chance of Succeeding at Anything.
Giving Up Being Comfortable
Doing new things is uncomfortable! Whether you’re learning how to write better copy, testing out new sales skills, or pitching yourself for interviews, pushing beyond your status quo can feel scary as hell.
But once you master a skillset, it gets comfortable. What used to give you hives, now feels like second nature.
The problem is that if you stick to what’s comfortable, you’ll stay right where you are. Or, as I’ve been saying a lot lately:
What got you to this point won’t get you to the next level.
To get to the next level of success, you have to give up being comfortable and get used to being uncomfortable.
Giving Up Having Someone Else Make Decisions
As business owners, we are constantly making decisions. Some days, we wish we could outsource it. But since we’re our own boss, that’s just not going to happen.
You’re the boss and in charge of everything, so to be successful, you’ve got to make the decisions (or they won’t get made!).
Giving Up Wasting Time
We all love a good dilly-dally day of Netflix and not getting much done, but as the sole person responsible for making sure your business moves forward and makes money, wasting time doesn’t move you forward!
I’m all for taking days off and resting when you need it, but when it’s time to work, it’s time to work. Your success depends on you giving up spinning your wheels and wasting time (if you want to get shit done).
My personal recommendation for you: Steal This! My Rock-Solid System for Getting It All Done (& Having a Life).
Giving Up Paying Attention to Everyone Else
As I’ve said a few times before on this blog, it’s easy to think we have to diligently follow industry experts and constantly scope out our competition to determine our next moves and ensure our success.
But paying attention to everyone else is actually inhibiting your success, because it slows you down, distracts you from your own next steps, and adds to your crappy thinking.
Save time, brainspace, and creativity, and stop paying attention to everyone. (I’m serious — stop paying attention to everyone!) The most successful business owners only think about their businesses, not anyone else’s!
Giving Up Saying Yes
As you build your successful business, your time and energy become more constrained. You’ve got less to give to everyone who wants it, and NO must become your new favorite word.
It might not be easy to do, but you’ve got to stop saying yes to everyone if you want to say yes to your own success!
Giving Up a Predictable Income
The hardest thing to give up in becoming self-employed was the predictable income from my corporate job. Knowing, month after month, exactly what my paycheck would be was a comfort, and leaving the predictability was scary.
The good news was that after working for myself for four years, I hit my stride and knew that I could pay myself a steady salary. Talk about a stress-relieving moment!
Now, for the three years since that stress-relieving moment, it’s been comforting to know that success actually didn’t require me giving up the predictable income for good — just to get started. (Getting to this point is something I love helping experienced businesswomen achieve in my Make $10k program.)
What Are You Giving Up?
You know what I had to give up to be successful, and I’m curious what you’ve had to give up or might now realize you have to give up.
Which of the ideas above gave you an aha moment?
What have you had to give up that I didn’t list above?
Is there something you know you should give up but still haven’t been able to?
I can’t wait to read your stories and insights in the comments below.