You’re in for a treat today, because if there’s one thing I’m passionate about, it’s being 100% HONEST in what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. There is a lot of hype out there that can make you feel like a complete failure. So today I’m pulling back the curtain on the first 6 years in business.
2014 marks the 6th year for my business The Yogipreneur, but really, my entrepreneurial journey started pretty much at birth.
***Note from Racheal*** I didn’t intend to sit down and write a 6,000-word blog post about my entrepreneurial journey. But I have to say, once I got started, I just. couldn’t. stop. Writing this was like a year of intense therapy and reflection on how far I’ve come over my entire life. It’s real and raw and shares things I’ve never talked about before.
And because I literally couldn’t stop writing – here are a few quick links to help you navigate.
Let’s start at the very beginning
Growing up with two entrepreneurial parents, you might think that entrepreneurship was the logical step for me. My parent’s businesses were extremely successful. I grew up in a gorgeous waterfront home spending my summers taking our boats out on the water. It wasn’t hard to notice that my parents had created a different kind of lifestyle while my friend’s parents were working all summer long and only got 2 weeks of vacation a year, we spent entire summers traveling and playing on the river.
But I also knew that building a successful business took WORK (and thank you very much Mom + Dad for showing me that!).
My dad had me in his office from the time I was about 12 or 13, inputting data into their new computer systems (back when the screens were black and letters were green!), typing up letters for clients, accepting and documenting payments.
I saw my dad hustle his business from a small 1 room office to multiple offices with dozens of employees. I saw the years where things were growing and cash was flowing, and the years when the economy turned and Mom was cutting coupons and buying our clothes at the thrift stores.
In my mind, the entrepreneur lifestyle meant working hard to play hard, and while it was amazing to get that huge payoff in lifestyle, I saw the stress that my parents were under during the years they didn’t pay themselves in order to pay their employees.
As my dad told me – if entrepreneurship was easy, everyone would be doing it!
Even as a young kid, I realized that my parents seemed to be wired differently from other people. While most people found security in a steady 9-5 paycheck, the entrepreneurs I was surrounded by found security in knowing that they controlled their destiny.
Most of the entrepreneurs I knew were like my Dad – extremely outgoing, charming, and just natural salespeople. Seriously, my Dad is always the life of the party! So while I loved that my entrepreneur Dad was able to take off summers and spend time with us, in my teenage mind being an entrepreneur = being outgoing like my dad.
And for me, a complete introvert who was more comfortable reading books than out mingling with new people, I couldn’t see how I could ever be like him!
I realize now that I was very blessed to have parents who didn’t insist that I “follow in the family footsteps” and instead, allowed me to follow my own interests, passions, and talents.
So by the time I was ready for college, I knew I wanted to do something that helped others and allowed me to share my passion for music. Which led me to a scholarship for French Horn Performance and Music Therapy. (Which also led to meeting my future husband on the first day of marching band at East Carolina University. #GoPirates #banddork)
But it didn’t take long for me to realize that music wasn’t really the career path for me.
By the time I hit my second year as a music major, I started to feel lost. Suddenly something that was a passion became WORK. I hated the long hours stuck in a practice room (literally a 4×4 sound-proof room) for hours every day. I felt trapped.
And while I loved the idea of becoming a music therapist, it wasn’t as fun or challenging for me as I thought it would be.
But it was my passion for music that led me to choosing entrepreneurship as my next move.
All music majors are required to do a recital (a solo concert) in order to graduate. It’s a BIG deal. You put on a gorgeous gown and perform in front of a full auditorium. Parents come into town. Friends all attend. And there’s always a reception following the recital.
My first taste of entrepreneurship came when I started catering the recitals for friends. It was amazingly fun and was more lucrative than working a part-time job. I shared how I did it with my sorority sisters and catering recitals became our biggest fundraiser.
That one taste was a clue and I changed majors to Entrepreneurship + Small Business Management.
By this time, my Dad had worked with his first executive coach for about 2 years and grew his business dramatically. And as he told me about what he was working on with his coach (productivity and goal setting and planning), I realized that there might be a role for me – not as the outgoing entrepreneur but as a behind-the-scenes coach/consultant.
My absolute favorite part of my Entrepreneurship program was working with the Small Business Institute. As an undergrad, it was required for my Entrepreneurship degree to work as a consultant for a local small business. My case study was submitted to the National Small Business Institute Case Study Competition and won first place in 2005.
I loved working with these small businesses. There was just something about diving into every aspect of their biz – from marketing to finances to sales – that really excited me. It was like a puzzle I had to figure out, and it was always a challenge. And then seeing them implement my suggestions and get huge results – I knew THIS was what I wanted to do.
So when I was offered an opportunity to get my MBA with a focus in Entrepreneurship and become the Assistant Director of the Entrepreneurial Initiative (a spin-off of the SBA programs in North Carolina), I was in.
I spent the next year writing dozens of business plans, helping start-ups get their first round of Angel investors, and consulting small businesses. I led teams that won awards in the Duke Start-Up Competition and the SBA Graduate Case Competition.
My absolute favorite projects were launching a series of workshops for start-up entrepreneurs and hosting strategic retreats for leadership teams (another huge clue about how I best helped others).
At that point, I knew small business consulting was for sure the path for me.
Thankfully I had some amazing mentors who encouraged me to get more hands-on experience with a Fortune 500 company before I jumped into solo entrepreneurship. So when I was recruited to the biggest financial planning firm in the USA as a small business consultant, I packed up and moved to Atlanta GA.
The best part about my time in corporate America? I learned a TON about myself, sharpened my own biz skills, and got to learn how to BE an entrepreneur while having the safety net of a steady paycheck.
I initially took the job because I thought I’d be spending most of my time working as a consultant – actually working on the strategy and business planning with business owners. What I realized quickly was the consulting itself was just a small part of my job. The bigger part was sales and marketing.
Ultimately, I was responsible for my paycheck. If I wasn’t bringing in new business, I wasn’t making much (my base pay came out to about $1800 a month). I soaked up everything I could from the sales training. I made literally HUNDREDS of cold-calls every day. I memorized 12 page long sales scripts. I started to bring in clients and make some money.
Then I started to rebel.
I knew who I wanted to work with – small business owners. And I knew that there was a better way to reach them than calling everyone in the Yellow Pages.
My new plan? Referrals, events, and education.
I tapped into every connection I had who worked with small business owners. I built referral relationships with CPAs, lawyers, and insurance agents. I co-hosted lunch and learn workshops with small businesses organizations. I booked client appreciation events at local wineries and yoga studios.
It worked. Money was flowing. Clients were coming in.
But it was pretty darn exhausting to keep up with. I found myself traveling between Washington DC and Atlanta GA for about a year before I transferred to an office in Richmond VA.
And on top of it, I had just gotten married to my college sweetheart, Jameson. He was incredibly supportive of me building my consulting practice, but when you only see your husband about one day a week, you really have to question if this is the right path for you.
By the time we approached our one-year wedding anniversary, I was burning out. 80 hour work weeks were taking their toll. I started experiencing panic attacks on a regular basis – to the point where I was afraid to get in the car to see clients because I was afraid I’d have one and crash. As someone who was known for being extremely grounded and calm, this was terrifying for me. I had NO IDEA what was happening (turns out – when I suppress my intuition for too long, she takes drastic action!).
When I found myself in the ER on a weekly basis for panic attacks, I knew I had to change something. Thankfully, my boss and mentor were extremely supportive and encouraged me to apply for a three month medical leave of absence. That’s right – I was on disability because of anxiety and panic attacks.
Something had to change, and for me, a fistful of drugs to numb out wasn’t the answer.
I jumped on my yoga mat, and with the help of daily yoga practice, holistic healthcare, and an amazing life coach, I was ready to take my life back.
I realized that my lifestyle was literally toxic.
My career had taken over my entire life – at the expense of my health, my happiness, and even my new marriage.
And even though I was making great money, I wasn’t enjoying any of it!
It was time for a complete change. I needed to take all the pressure off and put my ambition into perspective. I’d worked my ass off for years – it was time to lighten up and actually have some fun!
So when I heard about a position with Lululemon Athletica, I said yes.
It was the best decision I ever made.
With the support of my hubby, I flew to Vancouver BC to spend an entire month with the lululemon leadership team. When I accepted the position, I literally knew NOTHING about Lululemon other than they were the biggest yoga retail company in the world (and the perks included unlimited yoga classes – who can say no to that?) and they were looking to expand into the USA.
I had pretty much zero retail experience, and honestly no expectations. But that month completely changed my life.
Working with the amazing people at Lululemon was more like a month-long life-coaching immersion.
Yes, I learned a TON about retail and the yoga industry (which proved immensely helpful in the following months), but it was the first time I had people asking me about MY values, MY strengths and MY goals. Things that weren’t tied to their bottom line.
Long story short, I only spent about 2 months working for Lululemon. When I returned to Richmond VA, the economy had taken a nose-dive and they decided to pull out of every secondary market. I was laid off.
At that point, I wasn’t sure what my next step was. Thankfully, we’d always lived on my husband’s teaching salary and banked the rest, so we had savings and my unemployment as backup. When we looked at our finances, I realized I could spend the next 6 months just taking some time to figure out what I really wanted in my life.
So I did. I practiced yoga daily. I read every personal development book I could. I took amazing care of myself. I half-heartedly looked for a job, but nothing really looked interesting until one day, my yoga teacher let me know she was needing help with her yoga studio.
She had opened her studio less than a year ago but was struggling to keep things running on her own. She had thought that it would provide a home base for her yoga teacher training and allow her to stop running all over town teaching private lessons, but she was STILL teaching 16 privates a week on top of almost every class.
A week later, I was running a yoga studio in downtown Richmond VA and starting my own yoga teacher training.
A month later, her studio started making more money.
Three months later, she was able to take her yoga teacher training on the road and present at yoga conferences around the world.
I started getting emails from friends of hers asking me to teach workshops for their teachers and coach them on their business.
It took 25 years to find my purpose, then The Yogipreneur was born.
Lesson #1: Don’t worry about trying to have it all figured out! Stay curious and open. Pay attention to who you LOVE serving and who is asking for your help. Staying YES to your strengths, your passions, and serving your favorite people will lead you to the right business.
Once I realized the yoga community needed help with their businesses, I dove right in. I spent the following months teaching workshops, working with yoga studio owners, and talking to recent yoga teacher trainees.
My goal at this point wasn’t to launch a six-figure business, it was simply to really understand the yoga industry from every possible angle and make sure that this business idea was really viable.
I’d already learned a ton from my time with Lululemon Athletica and running a yoga studio in a smaller city. I’d started teaching my own classes and private yoga lessons just to make sure I could practice what I preached on all levels. But were there enough yoga businesses to create a niche consulting business?
This is where I had to take a HUGE leap of faith and trust that I was being led down this path for a reason.
I really wasn’t sure if there were enough people out there who would be interested in The Yogipreneur!
At the time, my research showed that yoga was growing in popularity and more people were becoming yoga teachers. But as an industry, a huge majority of teachers (over 80%) are only part-time and are not focused on turning their passion for yoga into a business.
As a consultant who always advocated having a written business plan with lots of market research and projected revenues, I was nervous. This wasn’t a business I would have gotten funded!
But I knew I could help people.
So I did.
With the help of an amazing designer (and a payment plan), I spent the last of my savings on a custom website at TheYogipreneur.com and officially launched The Yogipreneur to the world.
And then in 2009, I found out I was pregnant with twins.
Because having a baby business wasn’t enough.
At this point, I was running through our savings and not making any income from The Yogipreneur that wasn’t going right back into the business. Even though we were living on my husbands income, I knew that adding babies to the picture was gonna change everything.
Suddenly, I needed to take this business seriously. It needed to do more than pay for itself – it needed to pay me! And with a high-risk twin pregnancy, my doctors let me know pretty early on that it was extremely likely I’d be on bed rest by 6 months preggers.
The Universe was looking out for me because again, my timing couldn’t have been better. I’d made enough connections in the yoga world that I was able to line up a few long term consulting clients who were willing to work with me via phone + email (instead of me driving to them). When I went on bed rest at the end of 2009, I was able to work 10ish hours a month with those consulting clients and figure out how I was gonna baby-proof my business.
Lesson #2: You don’t need thousands of people to launch a business. If you offer a high-value service, you only need a couple to get started! Leverage your connections and community to fill your client docket (here’s exactly how I’ve filled my 1×1 spots over and over again).
I’m not gonna lie ? my first year of mamahood was tough.
Post-partum depression hit me. HARD.
I was exhausted, sleep-deprived, and my boobs were always leaking.
It wasn’t the time to be stressing about building my business. It was survival mode. I worked with the clients I had taken on months before and that was it. No marketing. No workshops. No posting on social media.
Nada. Nothing. And it was my last priority.
Then the twins started sleeping through the night.
Slowly the fog started to clear.
And I started to really think about what I wanted. I LOVED being home with my babies (even though it was the hardest freakin’ thing I’d ever done) but I also really LOVED working with the yoga community. But how could I do BOTH? Was it even possible? Could I really create a profitable business working part-time hours so I could be home with my kids?
I’d already started experimenting with working via phone for private clients and with faster internet speeds and new technology, I began to realize I could take the workshops I taught in-person online.
And even better, I wasn’t limited to just the East Coast of the USA. Suddenly my worries about there being enough yoga businesses to work with disappeared. I could work with Yogipreneurs around the world!
By the end of 2010, I knew I needed to take The Yogipreneur completely online.
I started learning everything I could about online business and online coaching. I subscribed to dozens of email lists. I joined 2 masterminds. I hired a coach. I tested out all the technology.
The twins turned 1 and I was ready to relaunch The Yogipreneur.
Unlike my previous consulting experience, I knew that I needed to design The Yogipreneur completely around my desired lifestyle. And it wasn’t about making tons of money, it was about making enough so I could spend most of my time with my kids!
And I knew that creating a profitable and sustainable business for The Yogipreneur meant I needed to transition from working 1×1 with clients to offering group programs. I filled my 1×1 client docket for 6 months and started creating my first program, the 40 Day Monkey Mind Cleanse.
I knew I was going to create a more comprehensive business + marketing program, but at the time, I thought I needed to create a smaller first-step program. And every entrepreneur needs to work through their resistance and mindset, right?
That first program and launch wasn’t pretty.
I broke my website about 3 times trying to create a landing page for a free training call (yeah, there wasn’t anything as simple as Leadpages or Optimize Press then!). It took me recording my training MP3s 2-3 times each before I was ok with the audio quality. All said, about 100 people signed up for my free teleseminar and 20ish showed up. I taught the free training. A handful of people joined The 40 Day Monkey Mind Cleanse.
All said and done, I spent about 4 weeks creating + launching a program that ended up making about $1,000.
I realized that was a LOT of effort for not much return. it was time to re-evaluate my plan.
Lesson #3: You don’t need to create anything because you THINK YOU SHOULD. I learned a ton but I realized quickly that my strengths weren’t coaching entrepreneurial mindset, it was teaching entrepreneurship!
After my lukewarm first program launch, I decided it was time to focus on a high-value comprehensive entrepreneurship training that distilled everything I’d learned over 2 1/2 years working with yoga entrepreneurs.
I started working on creating The Yogipreneur’s Guide to Conscious Business Design.
This time, I realized I needed to really understand more about how to launch and design an online program, so I invested in 2 different training programs about online business + launching (Experts Academy + Product Launch Formula). I decided that I was going to do a full PLF launch with a free video training series of three videos to enroll people into my program.
I also realized that I needed to be growing my community if I wanted the launch to go well. So in the months that led up to my first big launch, I committed to creating at least 1 video blog post for The Yogipreneur, sending out a weekly email newsletter, and submitting guest posts and pitching interviews.
It was a LOT of work! And there’s no way I could have pulled this all off without getting help. One of the biggest things I did was get help with my twins (who had just turned 1). I knew that I couldn’t make this all happen during nap time, which could be 3 hours one day and 30 minutes the next, but I wanted my kids to be home with me. So I hired a nanny to be with the twins so that I could work.
Lesson #4: If you’re a mamapreneur, get support! I hired a babysitter (and yes, it was a BIG stretch for me to spend $150 a week on a babysitter), worked evenings + weekends when my husband could take over, and even used the gym childcare for an extra 30 minutes each day so I could respond to emails.
Those were some of the most intense months I’d ever experienced as an entrepreneur. I had taken on just a few private clients – enough to cover my bare essential expenses (including my babysitter and my coach) – because I knew that I needed to give myself time each week to work with my private clients, do massive amounts of content marketing, and work on the launch for The Yogipreneur’s Guide to Conscious Business Design.
The biggest curve ball? A private client decided to back out of working with me on day 29 of my then 30 day refund period. I’d literally just paid for the ticket to my mastermind retreat weekend and freaked out. What the hell was I supposed to do? I didn’t have the money to refund her!
I felt like such a failure. Suddenly I had to come up with the money to refund this client, which led to me completely freaking out. As in, the world is ending and I suck and I should just quit now because this client doesn’t even want to work with me.
In the end, I was able to give her a full refund. And thanks to an awesome coach and a pep talk from my dad, I realized that this wasn’t the end of the world but a huge (and expensive) lesson in only working with the right people who are a perfect fit.
Lesson #5: Create rock-solid refund policies. But even more than that, really interview potential new clients and make sure they are 100% a perfect fit. Don’t be afraid to pass on a client if you know they aren’t for you.
By the time May 2011 rolled around, I was ready to launch The Yogipreneur’s Guide to Conscious Business Design. I’d spent 18 months planning the content and nearly 4 months working on the launch.
And all my work finally paid off. The program sold out with 25 participants and over $15K in revenue.
I knew I was on the right path.
I continued to create weekly content for my blog. I set a weekly “skype date” to network with other bloggers and entrepreneurs. I wrote guest posts. I pitched myself for more interviews and speaking gigs.
By the end of 2011…
- I had been featured, mentioned, or interviewed on dozens of other websites, telesummits, and blogs
- I had my first big speaking gig at my friend Kris Ward’s event Abundant Yogi Live
- I grew my own email list from 100 to 1200 people
- Over 50 people graduated from The Yogipreneur’s Guide to Conscious Business Design
- My biz hit the 6 figure gross revenue mark and after my expenses + taxes (including over $30K in coaching, masterminds, training programs, and attending live events) I was able to pay myself about $35,000.
- And I did it all in working about 25 hours a week!
2011 was the year that changed everything for my biz and my family. There were lots of months where we just barely paid our bills, and many when I wasn’t sure where the next month’s rent was coming from. But once I broke through the other side of my first really successful launch, I knew everything would continue to fall into place.
Lesson #6: My first year online was the hardest! And honestly, I credit my success to getting the right support including hiring the right coaches, investing in training when I needed it, and staying focused on creating content + building community.
The following year, I continued to learn and grow.
I launched my own interview series called Yogipreneur TV: Get Your Asana into Inspired Action where I brought together dozens of amazing entrepreneurs for 20-30 minute video interviews.
I completely upgraded The Yogipreneur’s Guide to Conscious Business Design to include all the new information I’d learned about online marketing over the past 18 months.
I pitched myself to much bigger blogs including The Rise to the Top + Smart Passive Income.
I continued to invest in coaching and training with Marie Forleo, Andrea J Lee, and more.
I launched another online event with one of my business besties, The LifeShifted Virtual Retreat, where I had the honor of interviewing Danielle LaPorte, Alexandra Franzen, and Derek Halpern.
I hired my first Virtual Assistant and her team.
Like the year before, 2012 was a year of huge personal growth and investing in myself and my business.
Not only did my business continue to grow with nearly 100 students completing The Yogipreneur’s Guide to Conscious Business Design, I also attracted absolutely incredible private clients who became some of my dearest friends.
And I got pregnant with Baby #3!
I found myself needing to baby-proof my business again. But this time, I had enough momentum with The Yogipreneur that I didn’t want to just take on a few clients and lay low. I wanted to continue to grow my biz and ensure that I could take 3-4 months for maternity leave!
What I didn’t expect was being incredibly sick during most of my pregnancy. Like my pregnancy with my twins, I had hyperemesis. Imagine the worst morning sickness possible that lasts all day long for 6 straight months.
My doctors recommended a 24/7 Zofran pump to help me keep what food and water I could down and lots of bed rest.
For the second time, I found myself working from a laptop on my bed!
Luckily my twins were old enough to start attending preschool and I was making enough to cover the cost with ease (and let me tell you, childcare is not cheap! I spend more on preschool each month than I do on our house payment!).
Despite being incredibly sick with this pregnancy, the end of 2012 was one of the best times in my experience as an entrepreneur. I knew that I couldn’t risk burning myself out during this time, so with my newly discovered free time in the afternoons (while the twins were at school), instead of working more, I dramatically increased my own self-care.
I took private yoga lessons. I had weekly massages. I meditated. I spent long hours reading just for the fun of it. As the hyperemesis ended around month 6 of my pregnancy, I had new energy to plan for this new baby coming into our life.
Despite being incredibly sick for most of 2012, The Yogipreneur thrived. I was fully booked with private clients I adored. I was able to increase my private mentorship rates. Students continued to love Conscious Business Design. My community doubled in size, and so did my biz revenues!
Lesson #7: Investing in your own self-care = investing in your business success! It may seem completely counter-intuitive, but every time I’ve invested in taking amazing care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, my business completely up-levels to support it.
By the end of 2012:
- I was no longer pitching myself for blogging + speaking gigs. I was getting requests every single week
- My private mentorship program was booked months in advance and I was able to double my rates with ease
- My community doubled to over 2500 people on my email list and another 2500 on social media
- There were now over 150 graduates from The Yogipreneur’s Guide to Conscious Business Design
- Despite being sick for 6 months of the year, my biz nearly DOUBLED in gross revenues and I was able to pay myself about $75,000.
- And again, I only worked about 25 hours a week. From bed!
Probably the best part of all of this was how supported I was in all areas of my life as I prepared to become a mama to baby number three. My twins were incredibly happy at their preschool. In fact, we moved them to full-day because they hated coming home when their friends were still there in the afternoons. For the first time in a couple of years, I had time to really nurture and care for myself. I had an amazing team taking care of the day-to-day admin and customer service so the time I was spending in my biz was spent working with clients and creating content.
As February 2013 rolled around, I was ready to take off 3 full months for maternity leave so I could really spend some time with this new little one.
I ended up extending my maternity leave and gradually easing back into my business over a few months. It was amazing being able to take my time really reflecting on what I wanted to create with The Yogipreneur and how I really needed my business to support my life as a mama of three littles.
Once I got back into the swing of things, I completely overhauled my signature program The Yogipreneur’s Guide to Conscious Business Design. It was already a great program getting great results for my students, but I wanted to really be able to fully support everyone inside the program.
By this time, I’d taken probably a dozen or more high-end training programs myself, and the biggest frustration I heard, again and again, was the lack of personalized support and attention.
And I completely understood! Not everyone is geared to self-study styles of learning. Actually, most people need more accountability and support to really get the most out of the learning experience.
So while I understood the business reasons why many “gurus” focus more on getting hundreds or thousands of people into a program (because it’s lucrative!), I knew that for my peeps, they didn’t want to be just another $. They wanted to be fully supported, encouraged, and know that someone who cares about their business is available to help them apply those strategies to their biz.
That ONE shift has allowed me to again upgrade Conscious Business Design from a training program to a training + online mastermind.
The following launch was the best ever, and unlike every other launch where I hustled my booty off to fill the program, this was my laid-back launch.
After several years of creating amazing content, I had dozens of blog posts, interviews, and training videos available for me to leverage. So with the help of some launch strategy from my friend Anne Samoilov, I curated a launch with no new launch content other than a live Google Hangout.
This was the point when I realized that The Yogipreneur was about more than just teaching business and marketing to create a sustainable and profitable business, it was about creating more ease and less stress so you can do what you LOVE for people who love what you DO!
By the end of 2013:
- I was able to handpick the right speaking, interview, and guest posting requests
- My private client waitlist was ready and waiting for me when I came back from maternity leave
- I had a team running the action behind the scenes so I could take off almost 5 months for maternity leave, then spend my time the rest of the year on what was the most important – my family + my clients
- My community continued to grow double in size of the year before – all the content that I had created for the past 2 years was STILL working to bring me new community + clients!
- I completely upgraded my signature program and increased the price to reflect its true value as a training program plus an online mastermind
- Despite being on maternity leave for nearly 5 months of the year, during the last 6 months of the year, my biz doubled monthly revenues over the year before.
- And again, I only worked about 25 hours a week for 7 months with the other 5 months completely OFF on maternity leave
Lesson #8: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time you want to grow your biz! Listen to your community + your clients for feedback. Just a few small tweaks in my program took it from $997 to $1997, doubled enrollments, and helped students get even better results!
By the time 2014 rolled around, I had some serious momentum driving the business forward. It was like I just hit a tipping point where everything I’d created for the previous few years all came together to work FOR me, even as I continued to create new content and live my life.
The biggest upgrade in 2014: Adding The Fired Up & Focused Challenge to the lineup.
Running a challenge completely up-leveled my business in a way I did not expect! When I decided to launch it for January 2014, I just knew I wanted to do something DIFFERENT than the typical 3-part video training series. I’d done that in the past, and while it was successful and helped me launch my signature Conscious Business Design program in 2011, I just had a feeling that even a professionally shot video series wasn’t what I wanted to do next.
So I literally scrapped the entire video series (that I had JUST filmed with a professional videographer!) two weeks before the New Year and started working on a FREE 28-day productivity and CEO mindset challenge. There was some serious energy flowing because I literally created 24 10ish minute training videos in about 3 weeks. I launched the challenge to my community as I was actually creating the challenge! I spent at least an hour every day coaching inside our private Facebook community, supporting challengers and answering literally hundreds of questions.
By the end of the Fired Up & Focused Challenge, I not only completely sold out Conscious Business Design but also nearly doubled my community (aka my email list), fully booked my 1×1 mentorship program, and filled a waitlist until Fall 2014!
January 2014 was my biggest month ever, generating over $75,000 in revenue.
But my absolute favorite part about launching the Fired Up & Focused Challenge wasn’t about the money (though I won’t lie, I was excited to see the result of my hard work sitting in my bank account), it was hearing back from participants what that free program allowed THEM to achieve. New programs launched. New clients acquired. Less time working and more time playing. Finally feeling like they are exactly where they should be in their entrepreneurial journey and they are ENOUGH.
And it’s the first time I’ve launched anything free that had people writing blog posts, interviewing me about the challenge, and even writing case studies about how generosity is the best business strategy ever.
Lesson #9: Give. Give. Give. Then Get. Generosity always pays off. Even though only 5% of the Challengers signed up to work with me inside Conscious Business Design, it continues to build my business + grow my community 24/7/365.
We’ve just passed the halfway point for 2014, and as I’m wrapping up my entire journey to The Yogipreneur for you, I’m humbled and amazed at how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time. It wasn’t overnight but it feels like the blink of an eye! And we’re just getting started.
If you’ve ever felt alone on your entrepreneurial journey, or like you weren’t as far as you should be, know that you’re never alone and there are literally thousands of others walking the same path to creating a life + business you love!