Life changes fast.
Life changes in an instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
–Joan Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking (2005).
I’ve learned a lot in this last year, some new lessons, some old lessons reinforced.
But the biggest lesson of all is we can’t take anything for granted because you just never know when everything is going to change!
2020 has been the year for extremes for each and every one of us in some way or another.
So what lessons have I learned?
I want to share three of them with you. They’re not rocket science, but they are solid! Solid as rocks.
Because when the shit hits the fan you need you and your business to be as solid as a rock.
For all of us committed entrepreneurs our business is our time, our passion, our purpose and it gives us our life, so it needs to be solid.
And we really need to take the lessons, right?
I hope the lessons I have learned this year will help you and your business become even more solid so you can be even more successful and impactful in the world.
1. Success is what you say no to.
Your success so far can get in the way of the success you’re dreaming of.
What do I mean by that?
You see when you have a level of success, it means there’s a lot of attraction around you and with that comes lots of opportunities. People want to be part of what you’re up to. Its exciting, right?
That means you have to start getting good at saying ‘no’. It’s mad because what got me to the success I have was saying ‘yes’.
For example, with speaking gigs, this year I was being invited to speak on all sorts of virtual stages and I said yes to opportunities I really should have turned down because the audiences just weren’t at the level I am looking for.
And then at some point that stopped working for me and started working against me.
I think the saying “it never rains for it pours comes from this” actually.
Can you relate?
There comes a time when you’re growing that its no longer a good idea to say yes to the opportunities that are coming your way.
To create real success, you have to really tune into the two to three things that are going to get you where you want to go fastest and focus on them. And to just let go of all the other stuff.
Learning which opportunities to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to is a skill.
The question to ask when you’re faced with these kinds of decisions is this:
Is this going to help me achieve my goals faster or is it going to take my time away from what I need to spend my time on?
And if the answer is no. Then you say no.
Saying no it’s not easy coming from a yes person.
I learned the hard way this year when I kept finding myself being part of good opportunities but just weren’t a fit for me. Or the direction of my business.
It just slowed me down, cost me money and time and a lot of frustration.
2. Build a ship not a house
I love this one! This truly has been the year when I really got this. And much thanks to my mentor Roger Hamilton for this one.
With the speed the world is changing and the way business is advancing building a house is so done.
Big-thinking purpose-driven entrepreneurs need to be building ships, ships that sail even when you’re not there. Yes!
And for a ship you need a crew. We simply can’t do this alone. You can’t, I can’t, we can’t.
We need to have the ultimate crew who get the mission, know the direction and know their part in cruising towards the destination and are as willing as you are to put their hearts into getting where you want to go.
That’s a ship I want to sail on.
3. Don’t reinvent the wheel
In March of this year I had just rented a beautiful big villa in Bali, with plans of hosting private events and business retreats.
That plan went out the window in an instant when I realised I would have to return to Ireland when the pandemic broke out. I was gutted and also a little confused, wondering how the hell am I going to make this year the success I had planned it to be.
Instead of trying something new, I reworked my plan to fit the virtual space COVID forced me into. And the amazing thing is, I carried on regardless because I knew it worked. And what has emerged, well, has kind of blown my mind.
My one-of-a-kind invite only events – called Secret Suppers Worldwide – are now being hosted by almost 20 other facilitators in 12 different countries. And collectively we have hosted 100’s of big thinking entrepreneurs from all over the world.
In addition, it’s been a long-held dream of mine for my business to be in a position to give generously to worthy causes. And this year that also came true! This business model means that part of the revenue generated goes towards microlending for business women coming out of violent situations in third world countries.
So they can start afresh, and build lives of strength and independence, where they are never under the control of another person again.
This has been possible because I stuck to what worked and just changed it around to suit the situation.
Pretty cool right?
I’d love for you to experience the magic and connection of a Secret Suppers Worldwide virtual gathering in 2021 as my guest. I will be hosting these events monthly. All you have to do is fill in this application form to apply for a spot by answering a few quick questions. And I’ll be back to you if I think it’s the right fit.
I hope you can use my 2020 lessons to help build a more solid successful business. I do find that the most powerful lessons are never complicated and we can overlook them because they are so straightforward … don’t do that!
And now I would like to say to you and yours Happy New Year, here’s to a year of wild success, endless gratitude and fulfillment.