Episode #109: Hard business lessons from 2018

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Hey Mama!  And welcome to episode #109 of the Life by Design Podcast with Allison Hardy.

Today’s episode is going to be a bit different from what I normally share with you.  Today I’m getting VULNERABLE. And when I first started recording this episode I was ridiculously nervous.  In fact, I almost scrapped the entire thing.

But when I started my business I made a promise to myself, and to my audience, to be truthful and upfront about everything: the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in-between.  So here goes….

In today’s episode I’m sharing the biggest hard lessons I had to learn in my business in 2018.  Now these lessons aren’t your standard, run-of-the-mill challenges, these lessons are shook-me-to-the-core lessons, lessons that made me want to crawl under the covers and hide, lessons that made me want to call this whole “online business thing” quits and delete everything.

But, it was through these lessons that I learned a TON and they’ve really shaped my 2019.  And my 2019 so far has been pretty phenomenal. So these lessons have been ridiculously helpful in shaping my year so far, they were just hard lessons to have.

It is my hope that by sharing these lessons with you you’ll either realize the trials and tribulations you might be experiencing are normal OR that when these things may happen to you, you know not to shut it all down and call it quits.

Hard lessons are normal, it doesn’t mean that we have to like them.

So without further adieu, here are three hard lessons from 2018 that have helped to shape my 2019.

1. What got you here, won’t get you there.  And that can be a VERY hard decision to make.

At the end of 2018 I got really clear on what I wanted for 2019.  So I took a look at where I was spending my money, my efforts, and what needed to change in order to facilitate me accomplishing those goals.  And I realized that over 75% of the things I was spending money on, needed to go. This included team members that I had had for 18+ months, who had been with me through moving, Nora being born, and INSANE growth.  And it was HARD to make that decision, but I needed to free up that money so I could actually spend it on the systems, tools, and strategies that would help me to accomplish my goals.

So I had to end contracts, reallocate funds, and it was hard.  But as you step into the role of a CEO in your business, things are going to have to change.  And the support you’ve been getting, won’t be the support that you will continue to get you to where you want to go.

You’ll know these individuals really well, you’ll know their families, their kids, their personalities, and they’ll know the same for you, but there will have to be a hard decision that you will have to make that means you have to end your time with them.

But truly, if they know and love you, they’ll be happy for you and they will encourage you.  I terminated a contracts with four people on my team at the end of 2018 and all of them were truly happy for me after I explained why I had to terminate my contracts with them.  It’s a part of business, and it needs to happen, but it’s certainly not a fun part of running a business.

2. As you up-level, not everyone is going to go with you or understand it.

This is the lesson that I hesitated sharing with you because it was the one that made me second guess my abilities and my direction for 2019.  As you grow you are going to have to off-board some of the tasks on your plate. And you should start with the things you either hate doing or that you’re not good at.  And so for me, it’s sales. I’ve taken 10 bizillion courses on sales, I’ve been coach by top sales coaches on how to improve my sales calls, but despite it all, I still don’t love it.  In fact, I dread sales calls. But for my high-end mastermind, the Legacy Mastermind, I have to have a sales call as a part of the application and on-boarding process. There’s no getting around it.  No one is just going to go on my site and buy a $12,000 mastermind. It’s not going to happen.

So I outsourced the re-engagement process and my sales calls.  Meaning, I had a team member reach out to all of my warm leads from the last time I launched the mastermind and also had that same individual do the sales calls.  

Now I knew that there would be some growing pains with this process.  My main concern was that some people would feel like I was taking a less personalized approach to the selling process, so I was very upfront with my team about this.  And we worked through some ideas, some different approaches and some angles to help make this as heart-centered as possible.

But just like everything, this didn’t sit well with some people.  I had a very extreme adverse reaction from a couple of ladies who I had known for YEARS, had worked with in the past, and who I LOVED.  They all had AMAZING businesses and I was so excited about the potential to work with each of them in a high-level capacity through the Legacy Mastermind.  But as the outreach process started it turns out a couple of them were deeply offended that I had removed myself from the sales process. I received scathing messages, they all removed themselves from my email list and Facebook group, and unfriended me on Facebook.  It was hard thing to endure, and it caused me to really dig deep and figure out if this was something I wanted to continue to outsource. After I dug deep and considered where I was and where I needed to go, the answer was a resounding “YES.”

This experience caused me to come to the hard conclusion that as I grow and change, those clients who used to be ideal, aren’t going to be so ideal anymore.    

3. Talking about money triggers people in really strange ways.

The tagline or promise or whatever you want to call it of the Legacy Mastermind is “your first 6-figure year”.  And I developed that because a commonality between my clients is that they want to create a 6-figure business. That amount of money will help them to create a lot of change in their lives.  So naturally, with a tagline like that I talked about money A LOT when I marketed the program. I also have a philosophy in my business and in the businesses of my clients’ that you OWE it to your family to make money.  Otherwise, you’re spending a ton of time on this thing, instead of with them, making no real change. So what’s the point? You, at that point, just have a really time-consuming and expensive hobby.

I also think that making money doesn’t have to be hard, or labor intensive, or a mystery, it’s totally possible for everyone in business.  The thing that stands in the way of so women from doing this is two fold: a business model that works for them and the effective strategies to make it work.  

Ok so back to my original point, I could talk about what amazing good money can do all day long, whenever I talk about money in emails, on Facebook Lives, I get so much hate mail/messages, it’s bananas.  And so as my messaging has gotten more unapologetic about making more money, these emails and messages have gotten more and more intense.

And the thing that really drives me crazy about this whole thing, is that I’m a business strategist, it’s MY JOB to help you make more money.  Me not being concerned about the amount my clients are making is doing then a HUGE disservice. My clients should be increasing their income! Or there better be a darn good reason as to why they aren’t!

It would be like a Health Coach who’s clients are being diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes, while they are working with them.  Not ok, right?!

For me and my clients, revenue is a tool that we use to measure if our strategies are working.  So when I talk about it in my marketing, for me, it makes perfect sense. Just like a weight loss coach talks about pounds lost.

One of the biggest objections I get is people saying things like, “If you feel so called to do this, if you truly believe it’s your life’s work, why do you charge for it?  You should do it for free if it’s your passion.”

And in all honesty, these types of messages grate my nerves, but are so common.

I usually just respond with a “Thank you for your feedback, feel free to use that unsubscribe button at the bottom of every email if you wish to no longer hear from me.”

I don’t have time for those people, and if you’re receiving hate messages, then neither do you.  

So there you have it, three hard lessons I had to learn in 2018.  I hope this helped you in some way to realize that as you grow, things are going to happen that are out of your control.  Some people may be hurt, some people may realize that you are no longer their person, and some people may be triggered by you in some strange way.  It may or may not happen to you, but I wanted to share this with you today to help you to see that it happens to all of us. There are growing pains associated with EVERYTHING and so if you’re in it like I was, keep going.  If you know that what you’re doing is the best for you, and in turn, the best for your clients, keep it up. There are new clients out there waiting for you and who are going to fall in love as soon as you allow yourself the space to uplevel and to meet them.  

RESOURCES:

Music courtesy of www.bensound.com.


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