What does ‘Having it All’ look like when creating your dream life?
Updated: May 22, 2020
How often do you stop to evaluate your life and really see if you are moving in the direction that you want? This year has been my chance to re-evaluate my life and what really brings me joy.
Developing & launching my coaching business has been a process of self-exploration that has forced me to look back and remember what it was like to build my first business, Designflair.
How I Started My Business
Designflair first came about during college, while studying Computer Graphic Design. It was a time when getting a referral for a new client was great, but I my main focus was on class and my education. However, it percolated and I had a steady stream of client projects while working at my first job in New Zealand and later when I moved back to California. I spent several months applying for graphic and web design positions (this was the summer of 2009, when the great recession was still in effect). I had quite a lot of interviews but I kept being told I needed more experience. The joke is on them as now that I have experience, I don't even want to go back! :)
There was a turning point when I made the decision to stop submitting resumes and focus that same dedication and energy to building my own company. I had several clients that I was working with and started reaching out to those who had worked with me in the past.
January 1, 2010 I officially launched Designflair as my business and put my sole focus on it.
Building a business takes time and I was lucky that not only were my parents very supportive, as contractors and business owners themselves, they were there to answer the multitude of tax and business questions that constantly came up for me. I had a few more skills I wanted to learn so took accounting, marketing and PMP project management courses at the local community college to refine my skills in what I felt would be the core areas of importance for running a business.
My First & Second Year in Business
My first year in business, I did all my own accounting on an Excel spreadsheet. I wanted to work my through each stage so that I could know it when I eventually outsourced it. I was incredibly impressed by the income I made my first year in business, but it also took hard work and pushing outside of my comfort zone. I started out only having enough work for 8-12 hours a week to working 30-40 hour weeks by the end of the year!
In my second year of business, I hit $10,000 of income in a month for the first time! And stayed consistently in that range!! This was amazing and something worth celebrating, but I had tripled the hard work to get there. I was working 60-80 hour weeks; I had 3 months straight where I slept only 3-4 hours a night. Lack of sleep truly affects your brain, but I was 25 and I was invincible so I could do anything I put my mind too! However, that lack of sleep began to take a toll (and I still managed to squeeze a social life into the small cracks of time I had available) and I found my brain just didn’t work quite as well as it used to and I needed to find a better way. This was when I reached the next step in my business: leveraging my time & delegating by expanding my team.
Why am I sharing this? Because building a business is hard work; it takes commitment, but it also requires that you work smart. In the end, we all created a business so that we could live our ideal life. It can be easy to fall into the habit of working long hours, missing out on family activities or not making time for the things you really love.
Anyone can just keep working and taking on more tasks, but are you competitively pricing yourself to keep up with the demand on your time? Are you taking any and all projects? Or are you starting to narrow your focus to your ideal projects - projects that you enjoy more?
What Does Your Dream Life Look Like?
The first step to creating your dream life is knowing what your ideal life actually looks like. This means writing it down and being as specific as possible.
What do you want in your ideal life?
Is it family time?
Is it travel?
Is it a house or specific lifestyle?
What will you spend your time doing?
How much time do you want to be working each week?
Looking back at my journey, why did I end up working so hard? Because I was focused on making money for the sake of making money, so that’s all I saw. I was also young and making a name for myself in the SF Bay Area, but it took me a while to start working smarter. I'm here to help others not have to relive me lessons. I want to teach you how to move through that phase in your business...faster. I’ve been there, I’ve worked my way through it so that I can guide you through as well.
How can I help you? Register for your free 30-minute consultation so that we can discuss your business and dream life. I’m excited to get to know you!
Strategies to Create Your Ideal Life
All of these are questions to keep in mind because a tracked number grows. (I’ll discuss this further next week). Writing down your goals in specific and measurable steps will allow you to track your progress towards them.
For every person, our ideal life is going to be different. Whatever you set your mind to is perfect for you, just make sure that you are picking what brings you joy and not just what you think you should be focusing on. Money is amazing because it brings choices and opportunities but make sure you aren’t focusing on money just because you think you should. What will having more money in your life create for you?
6 Daily Actions to Create Your Dream Life
1) Define what your ideal life looks like
2) Set measurable goals
3) Track them daily and monthly
4) Create affirmations or visual affirmations
5) Visualize yourself with your future goals
6) Adjust your activities to suit your goals (take action!)