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How do I niche down and figure out my area of expertise, make it specific and still resonate but not abandon the wealth of knowledge and experience I can bring to the table? How do I make hard decisions in my business?
These are some of the questions I hear most often. It's a constant battle most budding entrepreneurs are grappling with often early on in their business and even my students inside my program, Speak Up to Level Up, struggle with this too.
Today's theme that will become our mantra is this phrase:
It's for now, not forever.
We have this deep feeling that we're meant to do something bigger — a realization of how gifted and incredibly skilled we are and that we could help other people.
But there comes a point where we doubt ourselves, get a little dramatic at times and think everything is important and feel permanent leaving us second guessing all our decisions.
Chances are it’s likely you’ve felt this before.
But what if we take the pressure off of ourselves and stop obsessing with wanting to get everything perfect?
Know that our goal is not to get everything right. The goal is to get it out.
We dive into this today in a real, unscripted conversation that I hope will help you get better at asking yourself, what if it's for now and not forever? This I think can have an incredible ripple effect that can do wonders for our lives and build resilience to continue to go even on days when you wouldn't want to.
Episode Highlights & Key Takeaways (full transcript below):
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Hey, friends, welcome back to another episode. I just got off a live call with my members inside my community, Speak up to Level up. There was a theme that came up on this call and it was so important. I decided to move aside my planned recording for today and talk to you about this because I think I struggle with this at the early beginning and if my students are grappling with this, there's a high chance that you are too, and it's the struggle of niching down and really making a decision around what our specific area of expertise is going to be. The theme for today that will become our mantra is this phrase: It's for now, not forever.
So if you've been struggling to identify your perfect customer, or maybe you're trying to identify what niche, niche, whatever. I still don't know how we're gonna say it. We all make fun of that word, but you know, your specific area of expertise. Maybe you have a lot of passions, or you do a lot more than just one thing. Maybe you're a life coach, a business coach, a health coach, all kinds of things coach, and you're really struggling trying to figure out how can I make it specific and how can I resonate, but not abandon the wealth of knowledge and experience that I can bring to the table? How do we make some of these decisions in our business that we know we need to make, but it feels really, really hard. We're gonna go to the mantra: for now, not forever.
I want to share with you some of the early stories of my business. I haven't really, I shared with some people, but haven't really talked about this on the podcast. So when I started, when I first had the idea to start my business, I can't remember the first moment that it happened for me but I remember being very pregnant, traveling on airplanes overseas to teach a series of workshops over in Denmark for the parent company, the company I worked for. We grew it and we were able to sell it at a ridiculously amazing high valuation of over $150 million. I mean, this company that we grew was just incredible. And I had this really amazing opportunity to work with the parent company and all their subsidiaries and take what I had become really good at which is teaching business owners how to not only lead their team but a specific processes for how to engage with their end-users. How I was brought on board to teach them how to create these kinds of training programs at scale and that led me to be on stages and facilitating workshops quite often overseas and fun fact one time I led a three day workshop to a group of Danish speaking doctors that English was a second language and I don't know no Danish so the entire slide deck and all of the workbooks were all in Danish and I had no idea what they said. I just trusted the translator got the work done. That was super fun. I really realized the power of body language and oh my gosh, it was so fun. I'm going down a rabbit hole.
Anyways, we all have our funny weird random stories that lead us to where we are right now but back to then I remember it was actually at that workshop where I am facilitating a session to people who are loving the energy. They're super excited. They're role playing in Danish and I'm there having a great time. And I remember one of the president, that company pulled me aside afterwards and he had specifically made a comment to me that truly impacted how I saw myself. And he asked me, I never said this publicly before so hopefully this doesn't come back to bite someone in the butt. But he goes, I hope that your boss is paying you really well. And I laughed and was like, yeah, I'm well taken care of. He's like, no, no. I hope they're really taking care of you very, very well. And I just laughed, and we'd had, he had had a few cocktails at that point. I was very pregnant at the time. And he goes, no, no. I know your content is good, like the company content is really good. I don't think that you realize just how good you are ad people give me compliments over the years of my training style, my speaking style. I knew I was a good speaker. But in that moment, he saw me and he saw the talent and the knack that I had for just how freakin insane it was that I taught this three day workshop to people who didn't even really speak my language.
And at that moment, I realized just how absurd it was but also just how talented I was. And at that moment, I started thinking maybe there's something here? Could I do this on my own? Not that exact thing that I was doing. But I started having the question that maybe my success wasn't just because I worked for this great company, maybe my success wasn't just because I had access to this great training, maybe my success was because I actually was really good at the thing that I was doing and that I could also be really good doing other things on my own, maybe I could create something from scratch. You too, as a business owner, you probably had this feeling for yourself. Maybe it was just a few months ago, maybe it's been years or decades where you've had this feeling that you realized just how gifted and incredibly skilled you were that what you thought was common sense you realize that it didn't come as naturally easy to other people and you've had this realization, aha, maybe you too, could help other people.
But it leads me in the conversation that I had with my community today. And it's just because we have this deep feeling that we're meant to do something bigger, just because we have this deep feeling that we want to start an online business and launch this realm and we're figuring things out. There comes a point where we have to make decisions around what specifically is this thing. Most of us get started and we have a direction of where we're headed. Now you know me as the gal that helps you become more magnetic when you speak. You most likely know me for speaking. But I will tell you, that's not what I initially wanted my business to be about. You see, when I first started letting this idea, gain oxygen and breathe and become more than just a secret inner thing that I held on to. When I started giving air to it and voicing it out loud and chatting and conversations with my husband, I was trying to figure out what would be my thing. I initially thought maybe I'm really great at sales. I've been teaching sales for years, maybe I'll teach sales, or customer service, or team development and I started thinking about how can I do this for other businesses and and then I grappled with the well I can't do the exact same thing I'm doing right now because, one, I think there's contracts in my employment agreement that frowns upon that.
So then I start brainstorming like man, what is my thing? What is my thing? And I landed on the thing that has made the biggest difference in me for my life has been personal development, setting goals, achieving those goals like once I got more serious around my own personal development journey that's when I started becoming very successful in my career so I want to teach personal development. But that felt too broad and too big and who the hell would listen to me on that when there's voices like Brendon Burchard, and Mel Robbins and Tony Robbins. That tripped me up for just a second because I'm like wait is their names actually Mel Robbins and Tony Robbins, like wow, first time ever said that out loud back to back. Anyways, like I had all of these, what do we call them? Imposter syndrome, all these thoughts of like, who am I? And then I'd start trying to talk about things that were personal development related and I had this identity crisis because I couldn't get any words out. It sounded so generic and I fumbled and it was a hot frickin 'train wreck and I got frustrated because I had bought digital courses that taught me how to create digital courses, but I didn't quite know what the topic was and I started second guessing all these decisions. And at this point, I was on maternity leave with the baby and the clock was ticking and I had kind of made the decision that I no longer wanted to have the job I had and there was a level of urgency that I needed to figure it out because I needed a change.
I tell you all of this, because in the very beginning of your business when you have an idea and you're trying to make that idea tangible, when you're trying to articulate your ideas to other people, it can feel really sticky and clunky. Even trying to articulate an idea to my husband, I would find myself instantly shutting down and becoming defensive because the idea wasn't ready to share and he'd ask a question and I thought he was poking holes, and it felt really sticky. And if I'm being totally transparent for you, it felt really sticky for a long time even when I finally decided, okay, personal development is far too generic. I'm going to focus on this thing and that speaking. You see I pick this niche I had no desire to be quote-unquote just a speaking coach. That's what I thought, I'm like, oh, speaking feels so boring. That's not an impact, like, the big names that I respected and followed at the time. I was a huge fan of Brene Brown. I was following Michael Hyatt, his work very closely.
I had these large, great mentors that seem to do so much and had such a big impact on my life, the idea of helping elevate people with speaking, it sounded so lame. Oh my gosh, I'm sorry, I'm embarrassed to say that, but it's true, it felt so lame so I resist it. And I kept asking the question, what's my thing? What's my thing? What am I good at? What's my thing? And I kept coming back to this tiny little workshop that I had created out of sheer necessity back at my job, and it was called, Present like a Pro. And essentially, what it was, so I ran the training development team for my old company. I was the vice president learning development. My team ran all of our corporate events, all of our online education. We are responsible for the learning development for 3200 employees across North America in all the businesses that we manage. And so training was my thing, live events were my thing. And part of that was my team of quote-unquote trainers, none of them had training backgrounds. In fact, I did not hire trainers because sorry, if you're a trainer but most trainers have very technical ways of training. And in order for people to really buy into your content, there has to be an element of persuasion so I actually hired salespeople. People who work in customer service and I taught them how to train. And we would have these really large scale conferences where we needed more teachers than just our trainers. These workshops that we would run, these really large scale conferences, more than a thousand people in Las Vegas, million dollar program, I mean, at least. We would have, I mean, concurrent sessions happening. So in one event, I think we had 40 something breakouts so we needed staff to teach these workshops.
So out of sheer necessity, I put together this crash course called Present like a Pro where essentially we'd certify employees for our company to be able to take their expertise in their position, package it up into a workshop to teach our clients and our teams and it worked incredibly well. In fact, people love the workshop so much. When the next year rolled around, we had floods of managers in the company going, hey, my team members had on their goal list that they want to go through your workshop because they have a goal to teach at that big event. So I'm like, oh, there's something here. So we turned it into an actual training program in a company called present like a pro and that was really my first taste of going, wow, other people want to learn how to speak in a more persuasive way.
So coming back to you, in my business, I finally settled on this idea of what if making the decision, making the choice, what if I took the pressure off of needing to be so permanent, and started using the mantra, it's for now, not forever. And that is the mantra I have used from the very moment I decided to quote-unquote, brand myself as a speaking coach. I put the quote-unquote in the wrong direction or the wrong spot there but you follow what I'm saying, right? I had to make that decision. And along the way, by making the decision to focus on speaking, I was then able to identify that my audience wasn't who I thought. By choosing speaking, I thought I would work with people who wanted to get better at presenting in companies. That's how I would work with corporate, but it led me to my real passion which was helping entrepreneurs. So I figured out that hey, I'm a speaking coach not just for people who want to become speakers. That's not my thing. I'm not a speaking coach for executives and leaders who want to get better presentations, though I do consulting work on that and I do facilitative sessions on that. My thing is speaking for the entrepreneur. And along the way, I got even more specific. And I found my messaging around this idea that speaking isn't just a function. It's something that you do when you get asked to do it. Speaking has become, it's become a mantra that I say all the time that speaking is a marketing tool and it's your best asset as a business owner. You've heard me say that before.
I'm telling you all of this today because I think there's a sense that we feel like we have to get everything right out of the gate. Everything feels important. Everything feels permanent. Everything feels like this big decision we have to make. But what if we took the pressure off of ourselves and said, screw this permanent, big looming cloud decision making thing that we sometimes, I don't know, we get a little dramatic at times, right? What if we treated decisions as much lighter and easier and embraced it. It's just for now, it's not forever. So I don't know where you're at, where you're listening today but this is a very passionate message that came up with my community and I thought it could be for you. So if you're sitting here and you're still trying to figure out how to talk about what it is that you do because you refuse to buckle down and say, this is my niche? Can you just pick one thing to focus on? It's just for now, it's not forever.
If you're struggling, like I did for so long to figure out what the heck is the right lead magnet to get people in? Oh my gosh, how long it took me to figure out a lead magnet. Ah, it's just for now, it's not forever. Just get something out. If you are hungry to launch a paid product and you've been resisting on it because of whatever BS reason you've been giving yourself, and you and I both know it's a bunch of BS and you're just procrastinating because you're scared. What if you started asking, what if it's just for now not forever? What if you could take the pressure off of yourself to be so perfect, and to be so big and for it to be so damn successful out of the gate and just say, it's just for now, it's not forever? And isn't that the most empowering, liberating feeling when it doesn't have to be so permanent because here's the damn truth in online business, really, nothing is permanent. It's all just iterations. We're constantly creating and recreating, and tweaking and fixing. Just look at your activity on your Instagram bio. How many times have you change that in the last six months? Okay, if you've never ever touched it, that example didn't really land. But for most early business owners that becomes the thing that we tinker with. Why? Because we're so obsessed with wanting to get it right.
Well, here's the thing, you're probably never going to get it right and that shouldn't be the goal. The goal is to get it out. We have to become more comfortable getting imperfect work out there. We have to get more comfortable making offers creating the thing, getting it out, even in draft mode into the world because it's just for now, not forever. I can't tell you how many things in my business are quote-unquote placeholders that I want to make better. My evergreen funnel for my programs Speak up to Level up. I launched it last November out of sheer necessity because I found myself all of the sudden a mom, home with a kindergartener on zoom in my workweek went from, I don't know how many hours we've been scrapping it together through quarantine. But then all of a sudden, I had this kid at home with me and zoom kindergarten, I had eight hours a week to get the work done. I had to go on an evergreen funnel and I've been figuring out over the last year. We've welcomed so many incredible businesses in, but I'll tell you, the landing page for that evergreen funnel was crap. But if I waited to get it right, it would still be waiting and I wouldn't have made money this last year. That landing page, we've tweaked a few times, but I've kept the mantra: it's just for now, it's not forever. The same thing, my welcome sequences, my promo sequences, my website, everything in my business is just for now not forever. My program, my baby, my love, my favorite thing I've ever created, Speak up to Level up even that is just for now, not forever.
I give myself permission to not be so permanent, to not be so obsessive with needing to get it right and instead focusing on getting it out and ensuring that it's helpful. You see, the thing to me that's most important is getting things out for now. It isn't because well one, I want to have a business that I want to make money and I want that for you too. But two, here's the biggest reason why. We need to shift this. We need to shift for now not forever and it's because of this. Every single moment that you keep that idea inside, that you don't make that decision that you're over complicating, that you resist launching that webinar that you pretty much had done for months but you've resisted on launching because of insert whatever reasoning you have here. Every minute you delay trying to get to your perfection level is time that your person who is struggling with whatever it is they're struggling with, maybe they're out there struggling how to keep it together at dinnertime for their kids, maybe they're struggling trying to figure out how the heck to keep their books in line, maybe they're struggling to get their business started, maybe they're struggling to figure out what their first product idea is, maybe they're struggling to figure out how to maintain their their mourning habits, maybe they're struggling with how to care for a loved one, maybe they're struggling with how to nurse their baby. I don't know what your niche is. You know what your area of expertise is and the chances are you know what your person is out there struggling with, and every moment that you are trying to perfect it so that you can help them what you're actually doing is you're holding back your help, and you're leaving them stranded.
I'm so sorry. That sounds a little mean. But if we refocus it in that way, you have a duty to embrace the idea of it's just for now, it's not forever which means get out the imperfect thing, get out the smaller piece of content, get out the freebie with the typos. Choose one area of your niche that you can learn into and explore. Make the decision and get started because as soon as you do that person who's waiting for you, they can raise their hand and finally be like, yes, this is what I've been looking for and it's through their feedback that you will figure out how to make it better. But if you're sitting here waiting to make the decision because you think that for some miracle inside your head, brilliance is going to come where you're going to figure out the way to do it perfectly, you're missing the point because the point of all of this is we're here because we have a message. We have gone through different experiences in our life. We had that moment like me where that man told me you have something special. I listened to that. I made the brave bold decision to leave the fancy job. I started the thing I struggled with trying to figure out what the hell I was doing. I struggled with trying to figure out how to launch. I struggled with my first webinar being a flop. I did all that because I know I have something to help you. If I wouldn't have had the audacity to launch my first imperfect webinar which by the way was hilarious and it was a joke. I did a webinar tried to sell a live program in Portland, Oregon to an audience of people who did not live in Portland, Oregon. It seemed like a great idea it really didn't work but that to me I launched and I lost my webinar virginity which was wonderful because I learned that I did it and I didn't die. If I wouldn't have had the courage to keep standing back up when things weren't working to be able to say, ah, I'm pulling my hair out because I'm so frustrated. Why is the page not converting? Why does it seem to be so easy and fast for everyone else but here I am still trying to figure it out? If I wouldn't have been willing to wake back up in the morning to high five myself in the mirror. Shout out to Mel Robbins in her newest book, The High Five habit, oh my gosh, it's amazing. But if I wouldn't have had the audacity and the resilience to continue to go even on days when I wouldn't want to. I didn't want to. I wouldn't be here recording this episode today for you right now.
And if you're listening to this and you're feeling like oh my goodness, here she is again with a message that's like save into my fricking soul. If that's the case, give me some love y'all on Instagram like share this with your friends, your reviews. Here's a little part of our say. Your reviews mean the world. Shout out to your friends, tag me, lalalalalala. You know the drill, you know what to do if this is resonating with you. But the fact is, if it's resonated with you, it's because I had the audacity to step up to the microphone and not give up years ago when I started. I want you to know a lot can change in your confidence and in the structure of your business, in the design of your business and other revenue of your business in a short amount of time.
I'm recording this on Tuesday, October 5. This will come out in a week. This will be out next week. And I want you to know at this time, two years ago I was still second guessing everything. Speak Up to Level Up was just coming to fruition in terms of an idea. We were building the sales page. I was figuring out my webinar. We were launching before we had built the damn plane. I sold that program before I built it. But I had the belief that I could. It's for now, it's not forever. That program has gone on to do multiple, six figures. We just the time that you're listening to this, we just wrapped up our first and only live launch of 2021. Welcoming in a new cohort which high five to you for those listening, I can't wait to get started with you next week. I have to tell you, like I just, if you're feeling like things are not going as fast as all the crazy testimonials that you keep hearing online from people. You don't have to go fast to go far. You just have to be willing to be committed and focus on it's just for now, it's not forever. Your dream will come. You just have to get better at taking steps every single day and for the love of Google. Friend, start being a little nicer to yourself. I want you to stop practicing every idea you have, or every failure you have like stop practicing it with the ah, well it's too small, or oh man, I'm sucking here. Oh man, I look like crap today, oh my lighting is terrible. Stop pissing on yourself. Sorry, that was a little crass. But before you ever got the ideas out of your mouth, let's talk a little kinder of ourselves. Let's do what Mel Robbins says and frickin high five yourself because gosh, you are amazing. The person that you are today. Oh, I want to hold on real quick. Let's just do his one little last activity here.
All right, I want you to think about this for a second. If you're in a safe spot right now and you're not driving or you're not walking into the middle of a crowd of people, I want you to pause for a second and I want you to close your eyes and imagine where you were 10 years ago. 10 years ago, where were you? 10 years ago, October of 2021. I just fell because I remembered. I was newly married. I had just executed the largest conference of my life. I was six months into my job. I execute an event for 800 people in Las Vegas where the keynote speaker was Michael Gerber. I deliver a keynote and I was embarrassed and I felt like crap. This is the story at the time I got on stage and I didn't actually know what I was talking about. I had somebody else's script and I felt like a total failure. And then side note, as a reward, we all got to go to Carrie Underwood concert. Anyways, I'm digressing here. But I just want you to imagine 10 years ago who you were in that moment and the hopes you had for your future? What did you hope? What did you dream? What did you want to happen? And I want you to imagine for a moment that that version of you is talking to the version of you today and they're hearing the version of you today. Make excuses and piss on yourself because you're not as far as you wanted to be yet or you did this wrong, or it's not working fast enough, and any of that, forgive me moaning and griping and stuff that we all tend to commiserate with. Imagine the 10 year old, not 10 years old but 10 year old ago so the 2011 version of you hearing that. I get emotional thinking about it because 2011 me would bitch slap 2021 me if they heard me speak like that because here's why. 2011 me had big goals and dreams but she could have never imagined just how courageous and brave and incredible that she would become. She had no idea. So for her to see future me now, if I were sitting here griping or complaining or pissing on myself or talking negatively myself or second guessing myself, she would wake me up real fast and say girl, you had kick some ass and I am proud of you. 2011 year old, 22 year old you, yeah, you know what I'm saying, right? 2011 version of you. I think she'd say the same thing.
I think we get really hard on ourselves sometimes. And I think the easy thing, the popular thing is to have the humility to point out all our flaws and the reason why we're struggling but what if we, you and me, what if we set a new trend. What if we start being a little more positive? What if we chose to not engage in the conversations online where the new trend is the point out what everybody else is doing that is so annoying? What if we chose not to engage in that way? What if we stopped engaging in the negative, toxic, gossip filled conversations that are only keeping us in a state of stuckness and instead focused on more of a lane of positivity and inspiration and things that made us feel good about ourselves? What if we became that kind of person? I don't know about you but that's what I'm here about. That's the kind of message that I want to talk more about, that I want to spread. And I want to encourage, if you're listening today and you're struggling, I want you to ask yourself the question, are you surrounding yourself with people who are positive and focus on solution or are you engaging in conversations that quite frankly are draining online? Choose your conversation pots.
I think you'll find when you're around other entrepreneurs that are positive minded, that are scrappy, they're resourceful, they figure out how to make it work, and they're uplifting and supportive and respectful to one another. When you put yourself in that environment and you show up as that for yourself and others, things become easier. I want you to focus on the now. It's for now not forever. And I know you know this to be true but what we think about creates our reality. So if we look at our forever picture, if we look about the life that we want to have in 2031, 10 years from now. It's the choices you make now and today that will create that reality. I want us to get better at asking ourselves, what if it's for now and not forever? And I think it can have a really incredible, dramatic ripple effect that can do wonders for our lives. That's it. That's my Sager sermon for today. That's the message that was on my heart that I just felt needed to come out. I had no plan for this episode. Quite frankly, I have no idea what I just said to you. It just came to completely and totally from the heart, but I hope if you were the one that needed to hear this today, I hope it landed right at the perfect time and I hope you know I'm giving you the biggest social distance safe hug. No, hell no. I'm just giving you a big fat hug virtually. I'm rooting for you. And I sure as hell hope you're rooting for yourself. Okay friends, I'll see you next week.