Anna Maria Locke

Self Employment || Month 3

December 2014AnnaComment

This post is a week late, but I wanted to do a November life re-cap before the holiday craziness gets underway! I'm writing these self employment reflections mainly for myself, because I want to be able to record the beginning of my journey so hopefully I can look back on this season of my life and smile. Ha!

So it's been a quarter of a year since I left the "normal" career path, and it kind of feels like a quarter of a century. Right now, in the moment, I feel like I'm on a roller coaster of excitement, overwhelm, purpose, overwhelm, complete fulfillment, overwhelm, and so on. My highs are higher and my lows are lower. I'm learning that there is so much I have to learn in order to be a successful small business owner--but luckily it's the type of stuff that for the most part I'm super excited about.

If I could define November in one word, it would be BREAKTHROUGH.

I'm just beginning to realize that this adventure, this year, has been the biggest voyage of self discovery that I've ever experienced. Yeah, kind of "duh" when I write it out, but what I'm going through on the INSIDE is shaking me to my core. Without external distractions, I'm literally getting to know myself on a much deeper level and it's kind of scary! Like, it almost feels like entering a new, serious phase of a relationship when you start to feel piercingly vulnerable yet your whole world and future is opening with wonderful possibilities you never imagined. It's intensely personal, but I still feel compelled and desperate to share EVERYTHING with the world, shout it out, shock people out of their complacency and routine. Don't take anything for granted. Don't ever settle for an existence that doesn't completely fulfill you in every way. Have you ever heard the quote "do more of what makes you happy?" Take it seriously. Have you ever been so excited to wake up in the morning and go to work that you can barely sleep? Because what you do is so immensely fulfilling and custom tailored to fit every strength, talent, interest, passion that is uniquely yours, and you aren't afraid of failure because you know you're going to be successful because you are doing what you're designed to do? That is my reality. I'm basically making things up as I go, but I'm starting to weigh every decision based on how it makes me feel and how I WANT to feel. Everything in my life that has ever happened to me, everything I've ever loved, created, accomplished, dreamed, experienced, ever since the beginning of my memory has started to come together and make sense.

This month I learned that your personal story is the most powerful and valuable thing you've got. All anyone ultimately desires is to feel connected to others, and your unique struggles and journey will change lives if you're brave enough to share. The more vulnerable you feel? The more impact you will have.

It's mind blowing, terrifying, shattering, and I've had several 6:30 am breakthroughs while reading a book or journaling in my fluffy bathrobe, crying into my morning smoothie, freaking Ben out as the poor man is simply trying to get out the door on time and head to work because he has a normal routine and a normal job. Thank you Ben for loving, supporting, grounding, dealing, and believing in me, because I wouldn't be able to do this without you.

Yeah, month three of self employment was intense.

What I did

+Flew to Dallas for The Platinum Edge, a Beachbody training conference with two of my amazing coaches Sharayah and Mandy! My brain exploded.

+Experienced PiYo live with Chalene Johnson

+Read The Desire Map, actually defined my Core Desired Feelings, my life and driving purpose suddenly became so clear.

+Discovered the magic of E-COURSES!!!!! Uh oh. Brain exploded more.

+Started an e-course on InDesign from nicolesclasses.com

+Started an e-course on Digital Products from Creative Live

+Watched a Pinterest e-course and Branding e-course on Creative Live

+Discovered a trajillion amazing small biz/entrepreneurship/marketing podcasts. More brain explosions.

+Sold my scarves at a holiday bazaar fundraiser

+Rocked a Black Friday sale in the Etsy shop

+Started using Contactually to organize my contacts, and Calendly to organize my phone calls. Introvert's lifesavers! I'm getting legit.

+Ran my first official free "clean eating basics" accountability group

+Started shifting my monthly fitness challenge groups into a new format: 21 day "bootcamps" that are designed to help women develop confidence and learn how to lead a more active, empowered, organized, and inspired life. Stay tuned for more on this...

What I accomplished

+Cleared out our second bedroom and created a home office space (THIS CHANGED EVERYTHING!)

+Started to attempt to follow a monthly/weekly/daily schedule (I know I need more structure, I'm just so bad at implementing it into my life)

+$1,000+ sales in my Etsy shop for the SECOND MONTH IN A ROW! It feels like making money out of thin air. And fabric I guess. Can't get over it.

+Highest Beachbody paycheck ever. Over $730 in one week. I think I can do this network marketing thing...

+My coaching team, Inspire Joy, reached 50 coaches and I'm starting to develop more training and mentorship systems

+Starting to feel like I'm getting everything sooooort of under control...I am developing a clearer vision for my future and both small businesses! It's so fun and exciting and overwhelming ahh! I don't feel fully "legit" quite yet, and need to figure out a lot more business details (accounting, budgeting, marketing, branding, file organization and storage, you know...) but I am no longer QUITE as scared of the things that are over my head.

What I learned

+I already have everything I need to be successful, and need to be confident

+I officially want to be some sort of life coach someday. Yup, you heard it here first. It's happening.

+I will get certified to teach PiYo next year and start teaching it in a fitness studio. This format brings me SO much joy in a live class!

+Creating content is more important than consuming content

+I need to give myself more credit, and less pressure

+I need to define success based on how I feel at the end of the day, instead of how many to-do's I accomplish

+Just because I don't understand something, or because I'm not immediately great, doesn't mean I should avoid it or be afraid to give it a shot.

+I can do anything, but not everything. Do less with more focus!

If you really truly deeply passionately want to take a leap of faith and strike out on your own, let this be a sign to take that first baby step. You can do it, even if you don't know where you're going or how to get there. One step at a time. Stop saying "someday."

TODAY is all we have!

Life is too short to ignore the dreams and passions you've been shoving to the back burner.

Dream BIGGER and chase your joy!

Now I'm just trying to make the most of the holiday season and finish out 2014 strong! I'm starting to think about goals for next year, and I'm slowly starting to shift the emotional balance from overwhelmed to excited. I AM capable of doing this.

Thanks for reading and following along with my journey! I think that over the next few months you'll start to see some huge changes around here, and I can't wait to share them with you.

My word for December: Clarity

xo Anna