The past two years, beginning in March of 2020 have been challenging for all of us. My first name, Connie, is taken from the Latin and means constant; never changing. For years I said that this was the reason I did not care for change and took my time adapting to almost anything new in my life. But over the years I reframed that in a way that better served me: I welcome change into my life and acknowledge that I have control over most of the changes that occur. If you’re ready to embrace a “New Year, New You” style of life, keep reading!
The phrase “most of the changes that occur” in that sentence is crucial. None of us could have predicted (with the exception of scientists and a handful of others) that we would be hit with a global pandemic – perhaps that two word phrase is an oxymoron – and that every detail of our daily lives would be affected in an all-encompassing way. It was time to spring into action; a habits challenge was where I went right away, taking my clients and mentees along with me.
Earning a Six Figure Income at Home
I’m an author, entrepreneur, and online marketing strategist. In 2006 I left my previous life as a classroom teacher in the inner city of Los Angeles, as well as a real estate business where I was a broker and residential appraiser in favor of a life I could do from my home office. Yes, I did travel extensively throughout the world for speaking engagements and to consult with a handful of people, non-profits, and corporations, but all of this could be accomplished from home. I found that out firsthand as we entered the first phase of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.
It was a miracle that I was as well positioned as I was at that time. Unlike the recession of 2007 to 2009, where I’d only been working online for a couple of years, COVID-19 arrived when I had the experience, knowledge, and insight to make the most of it. Overnight, people had no jobs to go to, or did not feel safe enough to go to their job site in person. I can distinctly recall what it was like on the freeway when I had to drive into Los Angeles for a medical appointment at the beginning of April, 2020. The freeway was almost empty at rush hour that morning and the eerie feeling was shared by others. We were flying by each other and smiling and nodding to our fellow road warriors.
The bottom line is this: you absolutely must have a way to earn income that does not require you to go to a specific location away from your home, or to travel or otherwise be on the road on a regular basis. I had never thought about this aspect of work until I was ready to resign my teaching job. My daily prayer and mantra was “Please show me a way to work from home, from my bedroom if necessary in order to cover my expenses and financial obligations.” What I didn’t know enough to ask for was a way to escape the insanity of working for someone else, which had been maddening for me as a younger adult, even when there was no situation even remotely similar to the pandemic.
My initial goal in coming online to work was to replace my previous income from teaching and real estate. I accomplished that in about a year and a half, and wondered why I hadn’t realized sooner that I could continue increasing my income, year over year as an author, entrepreneur, and marketing strategist. Becoming an entrepreneur suits me well, and I’m far from being alone in my feelings and beliefs on this topic.
My colleague Alicia Forest shared her thoughts in her recent post, 10 Random Thoughts as I Celebrate 21 Years as an Entrepreneur: I chose numbers 1, 3, and 6 to share with you…
1. Even when times are tough, being your own boss is still better than working for someone else.
As every entrepreneur knows, there are mountains and valleys in growing and sustaining a successful business, none of which I could have navigated without my husband’s ongoing support. And although I’ve always been able to stand on my own two feet (thanks to my parents instilling that in me), my journey has been made easier with my inner circle cheering me on from the sidelines. Even in the toughest moments of being in business for myself, the alternative – getting another job – has never been an option. And when it’s simply not an option, you figure out how to move forward (yes, sometimes after the breakdown ;-)).
3. It’s not about the money, it’s about what matters.
I’ve made over $2 million in sales in the last 21 years – and yes, I know that there are others who make that in a year (or even in a single launch), but I’ve never missed a moment of what matters to me. I’ve lived my life, for myself and with my family, for 21 years. I’ve been present for all of it – the little things and the major life shifts and everything in between. No amount of money replaces the time I’ve had with who and what I love the most.
6. Always have a mentor and peer support, even if you can’t ‘afford’ team support yet.
I’ve had a mentor since I was 13 years old. In the first year of my business, I learned from Thomas Leonard and Coachville. In year 2, I hired my first business coach, and I’ve worked with someone, either privately or in a group, ever since. I believe that skin in the game changes the game, and I’ve gotten every cent I’ve invested into working with the business coach back in spades.
These are words of wisdom from someone I’ve known since first coming online and now consider to be a colleague, mentor, and friend. Take her words to heart in the new year and beyond. I believe in you and want you to succeed.
Be Willing to Do the Work and Skip the Shortcuts
So much of marketing is about the “quick fix.” The result that happens overnight. This makes sense on some level, because transformation can happen in an instant, and overnight results are real. I’ve had many of this type of results over the years, but it is not so common.
What people often skip over (not you, because you’re reading and absorbing this), is that while accessing a new result can be simple, it is not necessarily easy, and more often than not, it is not so likely to come from placing an affirmation next to your mirror (the 15-second soundbite version of transformation).
The heart of transformation is seeing a new truth that you’ve been unwilling to see before. This awareness is instantaneous. Being ready and willing to receive the new awareness and allow it to shift our life – this is the part that takes something.
Seth Godin wrote this recently:
There’s a better cause right around the corner. It might not work. You’ll never be able to keep all the promises. It can’t last forever. We’re all going to die. It’s not perfect. Someone might steal your idea. There will be critics. You’re not ready. Someone else is going to do it. It’s not that important. It might not work.
On the other hand…
Now is better than later, and perfect is an illusion.
Act as if. Simply begin. Make things better by making better things. You can always improve it later.
Most people would rather take the soundbite ‘cure’ rather than stay present long enough, through massive emotional discomfort, to receive the truth.
But you are the type of person who can do this. Someone who can hold a safe space and stand with someone in their discomfort such that they access real healing, not just a bandaid ‘cure’.
Who Are You?
Here’s the question… Do you know who you are? I don’t mean being able to identify yourself and recite your contact information. I’m not even referring to the ability to deliver your resume aloud in ten minutes of less. What I mean is who are you on the inside, the result of years of life experiences and interactions and choices and happenings. How do you think of and describe yourself when you’re sitting alone in your quiet place.
I spent fifty years on the planet without bothering to take the time to really get to know myself. I lacked self-awareness and a voice. I became a victim and became disillusioned with the world. Continuing to look for new people, new places, and new work kept me right where I had begun decades before. Then one day I decided to take full responsibility for who I was and what I wanted and it was as though a giant had been released from inside a volcano!
All of a sudden I was ready to make up for lost time.
Seth Godin wrote a post titled Don’t Waste the Good Days that goes like this:
If you’re feeling creative, do the errands tomorrow.
If you’re fit and healthy, take a day to go surfing.
When inspiration strikes, write it down.
The calendar belongs to everyone else. Their schedule isn’t your schedule unless it helps you get where you’re going.
Are You Owning Who You Are?
It can be easy to hold back on who you are in a world that favors the more surface way. Yet we are not alone. You are not alone, and we need to own this new paradigm in the world. Here’s why you shouldn’t focus too hard on changing your mindset…
Your mindset is affected by those around you. Friends, family, teachers, parents, colleagues, and others whom we encounter over time.
And when you really look at it… Your current situation is reflected by who you listen to.
Maybe right now you’re at a point where you’re ready to financially move up… But you’re surrounded by people with limited thinking and it will be difficult to pull yourself up and away from their influence. Instead, you will be sucked deeper into their influence.
This is why I suggest you start surrounding yourself around people that are where you want to be. Once I started spending time with homeowners, I found a way to purchase my first home. When I wanted to become an online entrepreneur and replace my previous income as a classroom teacher and in real estate by working from home, I found the people who were already doing it and they showed me the way. And when I was ready to become a published author, I surrounded myself with others who had done this and were continuing to write every day.
It’s a new year… New You is ready to take control of your destiny and make things happen in a way that is congruent with your lifestyle design.
I’m Connie Ragen Green, joyfully reaching for my dreams and achieving my goals. Come along with me if you will, and together we will discover what the new year has to offer all who are actively engaged in reinventing and reaching for the stars.
NOTE: See all of my books here and reach out to me any time with your questions and comments.