5 Things I Gave Up to Grow My Revenue
Hey, hey everyone. Welcome to The Bold Leadership Revolution podcast, and I'm your host, Tara Newman. Today we are talking about one of my favorite topics, and I'm totally excited to be here, but I think I say that every show. I say, "I'm so excited to be here," because I really am. I love podcasting. I love coming in here, and I just want to thank you so much for letting me come into your earbuds and letting me have this conversation with you.
Today we're talking about five things I gave up to double my revenue. Now, I have had this pattern of more than doubling my revenue every year since I started my business, but this isn't just about revenue. This is about growth. Right? So you could say the same thing. You could replace the word, revenue, and say growth. The things I gave up to double my growth or the things I gave up to double my results. Right? It's all the same thing.
So whatever your goal is, whether it be revenue or results or growth, this applies to you, especially if you've ever wondered how does he or she do it all. If you look at that really successful person and you think, "God, how are they doing that? How are they crushing it all the time? I want to have it all too." So you go out there and you do it all.
Here's my secret. I don't do it all. Not even close, ever, in any area of my life, especially my business. As a matter of fact, the least amount of doing happens in my business. Nobody likes the word, sacrifices, but the reality is, is that making intentional choices or trade-offs are what leads to greater results. I like to think of it as choosing discernment over distraction. Trade-offs allow us to focus on what's most important. Choosing what to say no to is just as important as choosing what to say yes to.
I think when people consider trade-offs or hear the word trade-off or hear the word sacrifice, they totally freak out about all the things they love that they will have to kick to the curb, and I'm not sure why that is other than to assume it's our society's obsession with lack and scarcity that has been programmed into us. The second you say the word budget, people freak out about giving up their Starbucks latte. Right? And that's never ever what I would ask you to do. I would never advise you to sacrifice time with your family or give up on Netflix to grow your business or to experience better results. It's so important that as leaders we take a stand for the things that we need to thrive in our lives. And when we thrive, our energy connects with more thriving.
So the things that we need to give up are more about what isn't yielding the result. What isn't yielding the result that we want? Our results are feedback, feedback for our thinking and our actions. Even when you think you aren't getting a result, you are. Everyone gets results; they just might not be the results you want to be getting. Why? Because of your thinking which drives your feelings and your actions.
So whenever I ask myself what I need to give up or stop doing so I can leap to the next level, it's most always around beliefs, habits, or a specific attitude that's standing between me and my best self. Here are five trade-offs I made that had the biggest impact on my business growth, which includes both growth in revenue, but most importantly, growth in profit.
One. I traded achievement for performance.
Being a high achiever leads me to be motivated by things like seeing how many items I can check off my to-do list. Sometimes high achievers strive for things that aren't always tied to the results we ultimately want. Let's quickly dive into achievement versus performance.
High achievers operate from a place of perfection, hustle, and muscle, do all the things, over-learning, and constantly outputting, where on the other end of the spectrum we have high performers who focus on slowing down, mastery, technique, excellence, and are highly discerning in their self-development. They input more than they output.
Now, I took a hard look at where I was on the achiever-performer spectrum and started heading in the other direction. I chose to create habits that led me to perform my best every day and allowed me to have consistent energy as I built my business. I believe if we want to make an impact as an entrepreneur, we need to have the endurance to do so.
Two. I traded comfort for discomfort.
It's easy to fall into a pattern of doing things the same way every time and to get comfortable with doing things in that specific order. So I've committed to shaking things up and taking one bold action a day, and bold doesn't have to mean big. It doesn't have to mean gigantic or it doesn't have to really have you leaning into your growth edge. It just has to be something that maybe you feel like you're unwilling to do in that moment.
This doesn't have to be something that creates massive discomfort. You can commit to doing small uncomfortable things often and regularly. You can ask for the sale. Ask for the referral. Ask for support. Speak your truth. Get radically curious when something triggers you or have a tough conversation. Or maybe there's something even fun or in your personal life. Like I have two moments of discomfort that I can think of that changed everything for me, and they happen to be in my personal life. They're not even in my business.
So a few years back we were at a water park. We've been going to this water park for years and years and years and years, and every year I stand in the water park and I look at this big ominous 40-foot drop water slide. It's called La Chute, and there was something about this day that I was looking up at this slide. I had never gone on it before ever. Everybody talks about it as being thrilling but never for me, and something about me looking up at this slide on this day, I looked at my husband, John, and I said, "This slide is a metaphor for my life right now. I have to go down this slide."
And it took me so long to walk myself up the steps to get to the top, and all these people were blowing past me, going down the slide, no problem, and I was stricken with fear. And the slide is so creepy. You walk into this receptacle and you're standing on this platform and the slide, in this really creepy voice, goes, "Three, two, one." And the bottom comes out and you drop down and you go around this loop and it spits you out. I was terrified. I thought I was going to get stuck in the loop. I didn't even know what was going to happen, so I finally ... I'm deep breathing, practicing my yoga breath. I'm connecting with my state, my heart rate, my pulse. I walk into the container and I'm breathing and I hear, "Three, two, one." The bottom drops out, and I think four seconds later I got spit out the other side with a massive water wedgie. Right? And it was that quick, and it was over.
And I got up, I picked my wedgie, and I immediately started to do all these things that I had been so afraid to do in my business, like follow up with people who had discovery calls with me, raise my prices, get visible and do some marketing around my message. It was instantaneous. My hands were still wet as I had picked up my phone to start executing on these tasks. It's amazing what one courageous moment could do for you.
The second time I did this was the first time I walked into the CrossFit gym. I was so intimidated to walk into the CrossFit gym. I was terrified, and the second I did it, it changed everything for the rest of my life. Well, at least until this moment, which is 18 months later. Right? It has changed everything over the last 18 months. It's shifted things in me that I had been holding onto for decades. So, it doesn't even have to be in your business, but how can you choose to get a little uncomfortable every single day and make that choice of discomfort a habit, leaning into that growth edge a habit.
The third thing. I traded short-term revenue for long-term sustainable growth.
This meant saying no to quick cash when it didn't align with the work I wanted to do. I turned down big corporate contracts because values and vision didn't align or it wasn't in my zone of genius. If it felt like it would drain my energy, it was a hard no. If something about it set my confidence a little squirrely, it was a no. Instead, I said yes to building long-term relationships, connecting and engaging with people on an intimate and deep level, and focusing on the few, not the many. And sometimes this meant selling less and delivering more value, which ultimately created deeper relationships. Turning down quick cash for cash sake is the most abundant thing I do. It raises my vibe and my energy instantaneously. It's me taking a stand for the deep work I want to do in the world which brings me more of what I want.
And I'm watching people get stuck in this endless cycle of chasing monthly revenue goals with a complete disregard for the bigger picture and a disregard for strategy on how this is all going to really move you forward to those longer-term goals that you might have that are a year to three years out. It keeps you in a paycheck to paycheck mentality and keeps your business small. You only ever make decisions from today when the key to growth is about balancing what is here now and leaping into what you want next. Now, I say this without judgment. Some people are cool with the paycheck to paycheck mentality, and that's 100% fine as long as you aren't of the belief that chasing dollars equals more profit. It doesn't.
The fourth thing I did was I traded not knowing for knowing, and when I say knowing, I'm talking about certainty.
And when I talk about certainty, I mean this is like leaps beyond being confident. When you are certain, it is a different feeling than confidence. Certain is a declaration. Certain is a commitment. So I traded not knowing for knowing, and I want to talk about this one because I struggled with it for the first 18 months in my business before I gave it up.
When I started my business, I had 20 years' experience doing what I do and a master's degree in industrial-organizational psychology. I had weathered the worst entrepreneurial storm that left me bankrupt and rebuilding financially. I say this because I had a seriously bad-ass set of credentials, yet every time I saw a marketer pedaling, "Get clear on your ideal client" or "Get clear on your message," I cowered in a corner and told myself I was getting it wrong. I spent 18 months traveling down this obsessive rabbit hole of trying to perfect my message. I told myself I didn't know who my ideal client was. I didn't know what my message was. I didn't know how to perfectly and succinctly boil down my 20 years of badassery into a 10-word sentence.
Legitimately, I saw people ask these questions in Facebook groups, and I never thought about what credibility they had. I would see these threads where it's like, "Tell me your elevator pitch, and tell me what you do in 10 words. What's your elevator pitch?"
I only thought about how shameful I felt that I couldn't boil down what I did in 10 words. And if you couldn't respond in the 10 words, I would watch them coach you through narrowing your expertise into this itty-bitty bullshit sentence that really watered everything down and wound up not making a heck of a lot of sense. And I didn't think for a second that this was just some kind of online gimmick or fad.
Now, I understand the importance of an elevator pitch, and maybe if I was going on Shark Tank, I would sharpen things up a bit, but I'm not. And I'm certainly not standing in an elevator meeting my ideal or potential clients.
I don't know about you, but I work with human beings where we have a meaningful conversation, and I'm not being forced to stand and deliver 10 words with a gun to my head. How I describe what I do depends on who I'm in front of and the conversation that is being had. When I share what I do, I never expect to make a sale in 10 words. I know it's my responsibility to have the conversation, but more importantly, it's my responsibility to understand the person in front of me before having the expectation of being understood. And I can thank Stephen Covey for that lesson.
It's way more important for me to concern myself with understanding the needs of the person in front of me than to be concerned about my message. The reality is, is I do know my ideal client. I know them better than they know themselves, and I'm crystal clear on my message because it's the one that I'm excited to share. Everything changed after that.
And here's the last thing that I had to give up. I traded disbelief for belief.
It was October 2016, and it was the last day I was on retreat in Maui with my mastermind and my coach. In Maui, that was the first time I traveled away from my family in 14 years. It was the first time I got on a plane in 14 years. So this was Tara going from living in a very small box to Tara kind of coming out into the world, and it was transformational. If anybody has ever been on a retreat anywhere, you know how transformational retreats can be. So I looked at my coach and I said, "I'm giving up the belief that what I want is possible for everyone else but it's not possible for me."
Instead of looking at the success of others and thinking, "That wasn't available to me," I saw their success as evidence of mine. If they could do it, so could I. It might look different for me. I might have to make different decisions or face different obstacles, but I was going to claim my success. It was a declaration, and it vibrated through my entire business. Who I worked with changed. What I was available for changed. How I showed up for my clients changed. How I worked with people changed. My pricing changed. And I became unapologetic about the work that I was meant to do in the world, and I fully claimed my expert status in that moment.
It's never easy to give things up and to leave them behind and to completely cut off stories and be committed to never stepping into that story again. Right? You can tell the story. I'm here telling you the story about these things that I have given up, but I don't live from these stories anymore, and that's never an easy thing to do when we have default behavior for so long.
It's scary to move out of our comfort zone of doing and be a different way, which is why I've created The BRAVE Society. The BRAVE Society is a virtual place for business owners like you who want to connect with bold, resilient, abundant, value-driven and endurable leaders. It's filled with business owners across a variety of industries who knows that the person who helps the most people wins. The person who helps the most people wins. In other words, we believe that we rise by lifting others. That one quote is what gets me out of bed every single day.
And in The BRAVE Society, we are here for three reasons. To build meaningful relationships with an army of people who have real, credible, and valuable business acumen. This isn't tit for tat marketing where it's a referral pitch fest. This is about connecting deeply with other humans. This is about helping you continually develop yourself as a leader through high-quality educational resources to help you become the best CEOs that you can be.
And the third thing that we're interested in doing in The BRAVE Society is becoming leaders who develop more leaders in the world, and if you're thinking to yourself right now, "But I don't have anybody working for me" or "I don't have anybody reporting in to me," it is untrue. You have your family. You have friends. You have a community, and some of you do have team.
The BRAVE Society is a place where you can plug in to the relationships you need to hire the most qualified people, find meaningful collaborations, and offer your services to those who would benefit most. The BRAVE Society hosts quarterly book clubs, robust panel discussions on relevant topics to help you grow yourself and your business, and we host bi-weekly CEO debriefs where I personally take you behind the scenes in my life and business where you can see what's working, what's not working, and key decisions that I'm making.
So if you're curious to know if you're a fit for this community, head on over to the show notes to learn more. For a full transcript of this episode, go to theboldleadershiprevolution.com. If you have found this podcast valuable, please share it with your friends and colleagues and other bold leaders. If you haven't done so already, please leave a review. I consider reviews podcast currency, and I love reading through them. And it's the one thing you can do to help us out so that more bold leaders like you can find this podcast. We would be so grateful for it.
And before I wrap up, I want to give a special thanks to The Stacey Harris who is the producer and editor of this podcast. Go check them out for all your digital marketing and content creation needs. Be sure to tune in to our next episode. We are now holding them weekly to help you embrace your ambition and leave the grind behind.
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