Bursting the Business Bubble – or – thinking bigger than you thought you could
By the beginning of this year, I had achieved each of the big goals I had set out to achieve with my business:
- Earn enough to stay at home with my daughter.
- Earn a full-time salary.
- Earn enough to allow my husband to quit his job.
- Earn $100,000 in a year.
The first two goals always seemed doable. By the time I started working towards the third, the outcome was already in sight. Frankly, the fourth one crept up on me without my noticing its tip-toe steps.
When I reached that point, I felt a little lost.
Out of my element.
Fearful of stagnation.
Not to mention, those are all earning goals and – whilst I love making money beautifully – there’s more that I want to accomplish with my business!
Sure I could keep producing, keep earning more bit by bit, keep serving my clients… but what was I working towards?
Ease? Elegance? Comfort? Yes.
But I suspected I could do that and still work towards something bigger than I’d ever dared to dream of before.
I posed this question to several of my business models & mentors in the first quarter of 2011:
How do you set new goals when you’re completely outside the realm of your experience?
The people I asked – Danielle LaPorte, Marie Forleo, Amanda Steinberg – they all offered solid answers. But still, I felt lost.
I could feel my power tingling like magic on the tips of my fingers. But I didn’t know where to channel it, where to cast the spell.
How do you move forward when your goals are behind you?
As a solopreneur, my business relies on ME for its vision & execution. My experience is all I have to go on. My brain, all I have to rely on.
What I really needed was a team to hold my vision and push it all around the edges, expanding it to the point – maybe, past – of bursting.
But a team full of employees, a physical location, a list full of others’ needs… that’s limiting too.
What I created was a whole new (to me) approach.
Instead of either trying to go it alone or hiring a team, I created relationships – both formal and informal – that could hold and expand my vision without weighing me down.
Carrie, formerly my “virtual assistant” is now exercising her own expertise as my personal Business Manager and Assistant Editor for Scoutie Girl. We “meet” weekly to discuss my ideas, work out systems, and discover new ways to execute my mission. She’s working on everything from scheduling to communication management to event planning.
I’d say she offers me the use of an extra brain – but it’s so much more than that since she brings her own outside perspective to this business.
She believes in what I’m trying to accomplish and knows that she’ll be better off in her own business the more I’m able to achieve in mine.
I’ve also been busy cultivating informal relationships. My bubble-bursters include other entrepreneurs, thinkers, and activists who want me to succeed every bit as much as I want them to succeed. I suppose, really, we’re mutual bubble-bursters. We help each other push past what is on the surface to more fully realize our complementary visions.
These are not just people I rely on to promote my products or retweet my posts. These are people I trust with my mojo and momentum. I trust them to challenge me, not just stroke my ego.
I’ve met my bubble-bursters through Twitter, my blog, random emails, conferences, and referrals from clients. Potential bubble-bursters are all around you but you have to do the work to build trust.
If you struggle to find your voice & vision outside your beginners’ bubble, it’s time to sure up your relationships with those in & outside your business. Make sure they understand your passion and the change you want to make in the world. Ask them to push you when they see you settling – and sometimes, even when you’re not!
What can you do today? Set up some Skype or coffee dates with people who you already consider in your circle and just talk shop. It’s not so much about asking for advice as it is becoming aware of how your bubble-bursters react to your ideas & concerns. It’s about allowing someone else to hold a bigger dream for you than you can imagine – and creating big dreams for your friend in return.