This year’s been a big one for my family and my business.
Stepping up as Chief Family Cheesemaker was a huge stretch. For years I’ve gotten by on just enough. I was happy wearing hand-me-downs and renting shabby apartments if it meant I could work less and enjoy life more.
Though I’ve always had the latest, sexiest mac, drank $6 coffees and eaten the fanciest grass-fed butter, I rarely paid in cash. I spent years relying (sometimes heavily) on the generosity of others.
Student loans. “Loans” from my parents. Credit cards. Credit lines. I could go on.
I’d like to say all that changed when my man and I started a family.
But I’d be lying.
The truth is, we simply reached a point where we wanted an upgrade. I started adding things to my vision board that would’ve seemed indulgent in my old life.
Rent a nice house Nicaragua for the Winter
Hire a personal shopper to upgrade my wardrobe
Own a rental property (with my name on deed AND the mortgage)
Go on a private coaching retreat somewhere sunny
I wanted the freedom to buy new glasses, even if I don’t really need them. (I have 3 pairs of glasses now. Check.) I wanted my hubby to buy that shipping container and build his dream workshop in our backyard.
All this to say, the time had come to cook up a bigger batch of cheddar.
Here’s how I did it.
1. I called my coach.
The moment I decided on what we’ll call “Project Upgrade”, I did what I do after any major resolution: I called my coach.
Working with a coach can feel indulgent if life’s already going pretty well. Or a bit woo-woo. (Take your pick. I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t have some resistance around working with a coach.)
I don’t believe in “first-word problems.” If I want it, I go after it.
My coach Kathleen Milligan – that's a link to her site 😉 – is crazy effective. I always leave her office with a clear vision of what I need to do to achieve my goals, and the exact steps to get there. She’s also helped me with:
Working through my blocks around money and success (ex. like assuming earning more money meant enjoying life less)
Shedding old beliefs that aren’t serving me anymore (ex. that rich people are jerks, that a second home is too indulgent, etc.)
Putting tools and systems in place for rock star success (more of that below)
Kathleen is a chief member of what I’ve come to think of as my “success team” – a team that also includes my naturopath, my osteopath and, of course, my husband, but I’ll get to him later.
One day, it'll also include my personal shopper. 😉
2. I splurged on my brain (and my business) with online courses.
The more I educate myself, the more money I make. It’s that simple.
It helps me run my biz more efficiently and get clarity on what I’m working toward
It helps me learn more about my ideal customers, their pain points and their goals
The right courses put my name and my website in front of 1000’s of potential clients
E-courses have been a huge, HUGE game changer. Here’s what I’ve done this year (so far):
Marie Forleo’s B-School (A must for hip women in business who work virtually)
Lucky Bitch’s Manifesting Course (If you want to up your manifesting mojo, go get this course!)
Amy Porterfield’s Courses That Convert (Hellooo, passive income!)
I keep a rolling list of courses I’d like to take (they’re incredibly addictive), and intend to evolve this into conferences and retreats in the near future, but I’m not ready to leave my fam-jam when the baby’s so young.
3. I listen to educational audio obsessively, over and over.
My office is a 15 minute walk from our house. I upload audiobooks and course materials to my iPhone and listen to them on the way.
Whatever course I’m working on, I digest it in small increments on the way to work. I always arrive inspired and ready for action. It sets the tone for the day.
I also get my exercise (something I would normally rebel against), which boost endorphins and keeps the right juices flowing to my brain.
4. I set goals before doing anything else.
When I get to my office in the morning, I resist the urge to open my computer and start answering emails. I open my notebook and scribble down my Be/Do/Have list. It usually goes something like this:
Be featured to Marie Forleo’s email list
Take a rad summer vacation up north
Pay CC in full in next 30 days
I started writing my goals down a bunch of times every day after I heard someone say that “the difference between a millionaire and a billionaire is that the first writes her goals down once a day and the second writes them down twice.”
Next I open my Desire Map day planner and set some goals for the day. I’m a bit addicted to achievement, and ticking things off my to-do list gives me a huge rush.
5. I tap with Brad every day.
My coach Kathleen has been urging me to tap with Brad Yates for years. I finally listened. Now I keep a link to Brad Yates in my bookmark bar, and I tap with him at least once a day.
If I’m worried about a deal or resolving some technical snafu or landing a big client, I tap on You Are Awesome. If I’m scattered and can’t focus on the task at hand, I tap on Making It Happen. If I’m nervous about sending out a quote, I tap on You Are Worthy.
6. I started accepting credit card payments.
This one seems more logical than spiritual, but it’s actually a powerful mindset shift.
I opened up a new channel for money to flow in.
In multiple currencies.
After years of fiddling around with cheques from my US customers, I finally sorted out a USD account so I can accept credit cards and get projects rolling faster, with less work involved on my part.
My Stripe account has brought in nearly $10,000 in just a few months, and there’s more on the way.
I think of this as my “cash funnel” and make regular tweaks to lube it up as much as possible for better flow. (That includes my intake system, invoicing system and onboarding process for new clients.)
I got this idea from our kitchen cupboards. The more cupboards we install, the more they fill up with yummy, healthy foods.
Sometimes, attracting abundance is as simple as building a bigger bucket.
7. I built a success team.
I have an amazing and supportive partner. This is key. Knowing that my son has the absolute best possible care, and that my man will back me up if I need to stay late to close a big deal once in awhile—it’s given me a chance most people don’t get.
My mom didn’t get to start her business ‘till her fifties. Everyone told her she couldn’t do it, that making a go at financial planning was too risky, especially when she could make good money as a waitress.
I have someone who high-fives me after every sale, who makes me breakfast every morning and a hot, healthy dinner every night.
And that’s a priceless leg-up that not everyone gets.
Okay, now your turn.
What habits do you have in place to boost your productivity and call forth the cash?
Share your wisdom in the comments below and, as usual, be sure to share this article with your biz-building mates if you feel it might help them get jazzed about growing a business.