Nearly three years ago I exited the card-locked corporate office building for the last time and walked into the wild unknown. I was finally going after what I wanted: work that filled my soul and supported me financially.
At the time, I believed it would be easy to make it all work. I was, however, very, very wrong.
Even though it wasn’t easy, I still got what I wanted.
Today, I’m going to tell you exactly how I did it, and how you can get what you want, too.
First, let me tell you a story.
The first step
On June 12, 2009, I left my corporate job to “follow my dreams.” I wanted to create a business that allowed me to make a living without selling my soul.
I am not a trust fund baby, and I don’t have a rich husband. I took the plunge with a small safety net of cash, a big vision for making a difference, and a huge leap of faith that my stubborn determination could pull me through.
Getting what I wanted did not come easily. It was not handed to me on a silver platter. It didn’t stem from following magical manifesting techniques. I didn’t have a blueprint formula to instant success.
If you’ve been hanging around with me for awhile, you have read my honest accounts of struggling to make ends meet, learning to find my voice, gaining confidence in my abilities, and dealing with difficult people.
It turns out that those struggles were absolutely essential to me getting what I really wanted. Go figure.
Jump forward from June 2009 to May 2012. I’m in New York City with my mastermind group. It’s nearly the end of last day of our three-day adventure.
It’s my turn to sit in the “hot seat,” a green, plush, throne-like chair at the front of the room. Twenty-two pairs of eyes and ears are turned toward me. The attention makes my stomach flutter and my palms sweat.
“What do you want to get out of your time today?” my mentor asks.
She asked this question to 18 women so far. Hot seats are for diving in and getting exactly what we need for our businesses. I have been thinking about my hot seat time for at least two weeks.
I smile, take a deep breath, and say, “Nothing, really.”
Some of the women look surprised. Others crack a smile, thinking I’m joking.
I pause, then continue. “Let me tell you where I am and what’s going on.”
I briefly describe the plans I made for May and June. I explain that my gut is telling me not to follow those plans. Logically, the plans are solid, but intuitively, they’re off. I have a feeling I’m supposed to take a break from pushing for awhile.
My comments are followed by silence.
I broke one of the the unwritten hot seat rules; I don’t have a plan and I don’t need any help today. At this very moment, I am not trying to up my game. I am not trying to get ahead. I’m not wanting to take my business to the next level.
My mastermind group is comprised of twenty kick-ass, overachieving women, and by golly, we’ve got to keep moving forward. No resting, no stopping, and certainly not nothing for the hot seats.
But nothing was exactly what I had that day. It was perfect. Nothing was perfect because I had finally received exactly what I wanted.
Getting what I wanted
Since leaving my corporate job, I had been trying to reach my dream goal: finding my place in the world, making an income without selling my soul, and working a flexible, on-my-terms kind of schedule.
In April of 2012, everything fell into place.
No, I’m not a millionaire. But that’s not really one of my current aspirations.
Instead, I have a business that supports the life I want to live. I make my own schedule. I only work on things that light me up. I only work with people I enjoy. I goof off daily. I can take time to rest whenever I need it.
On that May day while in the green throne, I realized that I had reached my goal.
It’s funny how success sneaks up on you when you least expect it. I got exactly what I wanted.
How to get what you want
After my hot seat epiphany, I sat back to think about how I got here, so I could tell you how to arrive at your next success checkpoint and get what you want.
First, set you sights on what you desire.
What is the essence of what you really want?
For me, focusing on too many specific details slowed me down. When I left my corporate job, I thought I wanted to be a life coach who helped people get out of jobs they hated. I imagined that my business would model after what I saw other coaches doing, and that’s what I tried to create. It turns out that getting that specific took me off course for two years. What I really wanted was to make a decent living, make a difference for others, not work long hours, and not sell my soul. The specifics of how my business was structured weren’t really that important.
Think about the end vision of what you desire. Don’t get caught up in unnecessary details. Maybe you want freedom and flexibility; maybe you want to feel financially supported; maybe you want to hug orphans. Anything is perfect, just be sure you’re clear on the broader vision of what you want.
Second, listen to and follow your intuition.
When I first started my entrepreneurial journey I was not very practiced at following my intuition. I heard it speak to me, but I had rarely listened to it.
I began to make a practice of listening to and following my intuition. My intuition helped me make the jump out of the life coaching business that didn’t feel right; it helped me leave a business partnership that was very wrong for me; it helped me make smart investments; it helped me hire the right people as I grew my business.
If you’re afraid to rely solely on your intuition, start by testing it on small things such as what to eat for dinner or what clothes to wear each day. Slowly work up to bigger and bigger decisions until your intuition is running the show–it’s far wiser than your logical mind will ever be.
Third, keep at it.
Even during the scariest moments of the past three years, I found comfort in knowing that I would eventually be able to make entrepreneurship work. Although I couldn’t see how it was all going to happen, part of me knew it would be okay. So I kept learning, reaching, working, resting, and moving forward.
As you focus on the essence of what you want to create and as you let your intuition guide you, see what you feel compelled to learn, reach for, try, test, experiment with, and do. Follow the guidance you receive and remain focused on what you want.
Finally, notice when you arrive at your destination.
My journey is not over. My business has not arrived in some place where it will rest forever. It has, however, arrived for now. I’m enjoying that feeling and loving my business and my clients exactly as they are right now.
Stay focused on your goal and the reason for doing what you do. Have fun along the way. You’ll have your green throne moment before you realize it.
I’d love to hear from you. Please tell me how your entrepreneurial journey is going.
Have you had a moment of arrival, or are you still working toward your first big one?
What other insights have you gained from my story?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.