It was impossible for me to accurately summarize 2022 with a takeaway or a recap of all the things that happened since it was a banner year for crisis and problems. However, there are things I’d love to remember and gift to anyone who is looking for inspiration for 2023. So here are the things I’m taking with me!
#1 Ride the wave of disenchantment
There comes a time in a business where you feel utterly disenchanted with your offers, your customer, and what you’ve built. Disenchantment is part of the journey.
People freak out when it hits.
It’s normal and will happen, especially if you’re building something that’s meant to last.
You can even see this on long running TV series.
There’s always that season or two that feels lame and under done. But then they push through and the remaining seasons come back strong and ends with a bang.
Business is the same.
#2 What to do when you can’t hear your inner voice
First, stop thinking about it. Start feeling it in your body. I know… weird. But notice the sensation in your body when you think about the situation or idea. Do you get butterflies? Racing heart? Do you feel calm? Do your muscles relax?
Two, know what you need. Like a video game avatar, you have to know what stamina and strength you actually possess (and want to use up).
Three, acknowledge your fear bias. We are am drawn to that which is comfortable and avoid risk. And ask yourself what would you do if you weren’t afraid and could not fail?
Four, how much dysfunctional behavior are you doing (or dysfunctional beliefs) are you holding onto in order to exist in the current setup?
Five, are you being honest?
Six, have you acknowledged that your uncertainty is a choice in and of itself and if you search your soul, your dreams, or your quiet thoughts, are you ignoring a still small voice inside of you?
Try these six exercises the next time you can’t hear your own inner voice, and see what comes up. For me? Every time it’s paid off.
#3 Be warned… Indecision is addictive
Hard truth incoming: The habit of indecision is addictive.
I know this because as a pretty decisive person normally, I’ve found my brain stuck in several high stakes indecision loops during points of crisis and struggle in my life. And once out of it, the next time it happens, the well worn path in my brain says, “Oh good. Let’s do the indecision cycle forever!” and it’s even harder to break the next time.
You can read the full post here, but here is the cycle that the brain goes through.
How do you break out of the indecision loop?
- Observe the cycle
- Trust your acquiring information phase
- Remind yourself of the thief of indecision
- Steel yourself for your survival response and don’t listen to it
The first step is to observe yourself doing it. Once you see the behavior in action, you can actually move it from a subconscious pattern to a conscious choice you can push against.
The second step is to trust your acquiring information phase. For most decisions, whatever you learn within a few weeks or a month of hard core research, conversations, journaling, therapy, counsel, interviews, etc. is enough. Tiny little bits of new info aren’t going to change your outcome.
It’s also important to recognize that when you’re taking steps into an unknown territory, a place that requires you to start building new beliefs, there’s a level of risk that’s needed. Acquiring information may include examining your belief systems and making way for something new. Pick good mentors and critical thinkers to help you here because growth is messy.
The third step is to tell yourself that indecision is a thief, and carries far worse consequences over time than even a bad decision. Because even in a bad decision, there’s so much to learn and grow from.
The last step? Is to steel yourself for the survival response when it comes, and push through. Expect it. Don’t let it tell you you’re going to die if you choose. You will not.
I speak on this topic with deep experience in making irreversible, emotionally charged, difficult decisions that go against what is ingrained in me beliefs wise as a child.
#4 You need diverse voices in your life if you want to grow
Do you know that pine trees grow better in an unmanaged diverse forest than in a field where it’s only pine trees that are planted?
The diversity of the root systems, the fungal network that connects them underground… the pines are more likely to survive, thrive, and produce more wood and seed when they are among lots of different trees in a forest.
Next time you wonder why things aren’t going well…. Why you’re struggling to produce at the level you know you’re capable of, when you feel dead and exhausted and burned out…Get out of the field.
Get away from the monoculture you’re in.Go into the forest and live among the messy beautiful diverse species of plants and trees… and grow.
#5 No matter how loud you think you are, chances are you’re not loud enough
Ever notice on Instagram that breakout artists (singers/songwriters trying to build an audience)… they write a song and they do a reel clip of that song.
And then… another reel clip…of the same song.And then… another.
And another. Same song every time.
Maybe the lyric clip is slightly different. Maybe they are sitting behind the steering wheel of their car vs. walking on the sidewalk, but it’s the same information.
Next time you tell me you’ve run out of topics to talk about, or you are tired of the same thing…
Think about the breakout artists. Who are posting the same song day after day, hoping one of their videos catches.
Course creators and online service providers, you should NEVER run out of content because repeating content is totally fine.No one is paying as close attention to you as you are to you.
#6 Fire is designed to burn up that which isn’t supposed to last
When the heat rages and you’re in the middle of the flames, everything (in your life, business, world) that was a distraction, a weight on your mind and heart, things that were not built on your conviction but on reactions and bad habits and people pleasing…beliefs that were propped up by lies or unquestioned assumptions…It will all burn up.
And what will be left… is what’s worth holding onto.
The fire is meant to help you.
It’s meant to clear the path so you can become who you’re truly meant to be. When you avoid the heat, when you shy away from the things that strike a match to your world…you never get the opportunity to watch all your false ideas and mindset trash and assumptions that are holding you back…turn to ash.
#7 There are really only 5 things you need to make passive income through digital products
If you want to make $500/$1000 a day passively selling digital products (not courses, coaching, etc.) but digital products like swipe files, documents, templates, etc…. here are the five things you need to make sure your product does if you really want to hit that mark with JUST those products (I’m not talking upsells and lifetime value).
1. You need an EASY as hell domain. Like, it’ll fall right out of my mouth level. Probably a domain that’s going to cost you more than $10. It HAS to be a .com. It might cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars to grab.
2. You need a product that people NEED. Not, “aw yea nice to have.” No. Need. Like, I NEED an email script if I’m doing cold pitching. I literally can’t pitch without a good script. vs some checklist for cold pitching (or an SOP) which is okay, fine. That’s nice. But I can technically do the project without it. Keep in mind it’s not that the checklist is bad, and it probably could and would sell, but if we want to accomplish the goal above, you’ve gotta make something people NEED.
3. It has to be a product that dramatically shortcuts time FOR your customer, but also (and here’s what people miss), also dramatically shortcuts time for possible collabs and affiliates. I’m selling a coaching program on sales, I don’t want to have to write email scripts that I KNOW work. Takes me time. I have to test it, try it, hope it works, then build it and sell it in my program. But if you do all that work for me, I just might want to buy a license for it. Or affiliate for it.
4. It has to be a product that you can write about, video about, market about, and be something that gets in peoples’ heads easily. Not tricky to explain. Not vague. Not general. Obvious. Clear. Duh. People will search for it on Google or YouTube, talk about it and ask for recommendations in groups, and your option will pop out of peoples’ mouths and out of search.
5. It has to be priced in such a way that the product itself would cost considerably more to make/build on my own then if I just fork over some cash to give to you the seller. Cheap and inexpensive digital products are GREAT tripwires to lead to bigger products, but if you want to make $500/$1000 a day on just a few digital products, you need to make something that would cost hundreds to thousands to build on its own, but you’re selling for $100-$300.
You nail all five and you’ve got something.
#8 How to know when to pivot and when to give up
If you’re the kind of person who struggles with letting go, you’ll probably hold on longer than you should.
If you’re the kind of person who abandons projects quickly and gets distracted, you’ll probably not give your stuff the attention it needs.
Look at your character pattern throughout your life.
Are you a stubborn I’m holding onto this come hell or high water? Learn to let go.
Are you easily distracted, “Here comes a new project that doesn’t force me to face my feelings about what isn’t going well?” You might need to learn how to fight for something when it isn’t always fun.
Other criteria to use…
1. Have you looked at the data? Are you making a decision based on benchmarks or mismanaged expectations? Use data.
2. Will the longterm payoff of what you’re building/selling be worth the short term grind? Everything worthwhile is uphill all the way. Sometimes it’s not going to feel good. Hold on when the longterm potential is worth it.
3. Have you tried optimizing your offer/business multiple times and not seen the results you want?
Assuming the opportunity and container are big enough for the $$ you want, have you let go of what “you” think it should look like, and been willing to experiment with other ideas that are outside the box? Don’t be afraid to experiment or take risks before you give up completely.
#9 Fear and imposter syndrome are triggered by attachment
You start a project and get really excited about it. You pour time and energy into it, and as it gets closer, you get more and more nervous.
All these crazy feelings come up, you start to overthink and get in your head. What if you’re not good enough? What if no one buys?
The reason? You are attached to the outcome. You are attached to the vision you see in your head. And the fear that it won’t come to pass or be taken away from you, triggers your brain to start to find reasons why it might not work so you can combat them.
Your attachment to the project triggers this and it’s why so many people feel these feelings as they get closer to launch. It works the same in life.
- Ever find the house of your dreams and get so scared the closer it gets to closing because you’re afraid something will fall through?The attachment creates the fear. You can see it and taste it, but it’s not yours yet.
- Ever find the partner of your dreams, and find yourself falling in love and then the crippling fear or “not good enoughness” comes in because your brain – in anticipation of losing it – tries to combat it with overthinking.
This is how Imposter syndrome rears its ugly head the closer and more deeply attached you are to an outcome or dream you have in your head.
The solution is NOT to never get attached.
The solution is not to scrap your project and start over.
You will always come back around to the same mountain the closer you get to the moment of truth.
You are not weird.
It’s entirely normal.
#10 There will always be more resistance to what is unknown than what is known
If you’re waiting to feel 100% ready to step into something that doesn’t have any assurances, any promised destination, any certain outcome…
You’re going to wait a long time.
Because what is unknown will always be harder to grasp than what is comfortable and familiar.
The trick is to force yourself to take steps into the unknown based on an underlying decision vs. the emotional whim of the moment.
Don’t wait for the feeling of certainty.
It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do (at least I think so).
Stepping into something that isn’t defined yet, and leaving behind the comfortable familiar habits that kept you stuck in beliefs of the present that might have worked for awhile, but don’t anymore.
Please let me know which one spoke to you most, and I look forward to learning and growing with you in 2023!