A milestone worth celebrating
Have you heard? Motive Nutrition is celebrating an extraordinary milestone, she’s turning 5 years old! What started out as a food blog during my graduate studies has now grown into a business I’m incredibly proud of.
It’s a great feeling being able to wake up in the morning and do work that fulfills you, create projects that bring you joy and collaborate with smart and talented people. Not to mention having the flexibility to work from home and spend more time with your family. But starting and growing a business is not for the faint of heart. It takes excellent work ethic, sacrifice, resiliency and unwavering faith in yourself, and in your mission to stay the course. These are all things I strive to be better at every single day.
I’ve been reflecting on these last five years a lot lately so I thought I would share with you some of the lessons learned along the way. Firstly, because if you’re reading this, that makes you someone I want to celebrate this milestone with. Secondly, because even if you aren’t a business owner, there are such significant similarities between transforming your health and growing a business that I know these lessons will be valuable to you and your journey as well.
Know your vision of success
“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” – Thomas Merton
I’ve always loved this quote because, in the era of social media, where anyone can share their highlight reel and make their best moments look like their only reality, it’s easy to set goals for the wrong reason simply to keep up with everyone else. Which is why before the goals, must come the vision.
Your vision is your compass. It’s your why. It’s your definition of success and a very subjective one at that, which is why you need to be crystal clear on it right from the beginning.
Do you want awards and accolades? Do you want to impact a large number of people? Do you need to hit a specific revenue target to know you’ve made it? Do you want it all? Most importantly, why do you want each of these things? My why hasn’t changed. I have ambition, I have my eye set on a number of things I want to achieve but at my core, my why is my barometer. It’s how I decide on a new project, whether a collaboration is worth pursuing and it keeps me from doing something just for the sake of doing it. It isn’t always easy and it’s tempting to want to do too much. But getting crystal clear on your vision of success really does help you to stay focused and in the end, this allows you to accomplish more because of it.
Done is better than perfect.
It’s important to plan ahead, and it’s important to do good work. I’m definitely a planner and someone who likes to do their research. But there is such as thing as over-planning, especially when it stops you from implementing and slows your progress. One of the things I’ve learned these last five years is the importance of speed when it comes to decision making, growth and testing new ideas. I’ve also learned as Marie Forleo has taught, that clarity comes through action, not thought. Sometimes planning or perfecting is our way of protecting ourselves. Because if we’re too busy planning and our work isn’t out into the world, we aren’t vulnerable to other people’s opinions. I get it. It can be really scary to share work on a public platform, especially when there are people, who troll and leave negative vibes and comments around the internet like its their job. But that is never a reason to keep your work from the world. So whether you have an idea you want to test, an article you wish to publish or a book you want to write, there will never be a more perfect time than now.
Bounce back quickly
Failure is not a four-letter word. Yet, we treat it as such. I started my blog with an email list of six. Three of the emails in that list were mine (because I needed to make sure the newsletter was getting out correctly) and the others were family members. Today, there are thousands of you opening these emails, reading our blogs and watching the Motive Nutrition videos. Our online programs have welcomed people from all over the world, from Vancouver to the Philippines, and our private practice works with inspiring individuals from all walks of life on their wellness journeys.
I’m telling you this because I’ve lost count of the number of times things didn’t go as I planned. I’ve lost count of the number of people who questioned me, my ideas or thought that online businesses were silly. I’ve also had websites crash, launches not go as I hoped and people leave pretty nasty comments on my social media accounts.
While I remember every single one of these blips, I’ve lost count of them because I decided to keep moving forward. Have I wanted to quit? Sure. Did I ever indulge myself in a pity party? No.Well, not more than overnight anyway. Because in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter if you fall down nine times, only that you get up ten. So when I have a terrible day, as we all do, I allow myself to feel whatever I feel, then sleep on it and start fresh in the morning.
Because not only is it important to bounce back and have that resiliency after a hardship, it’s essential to do so quickly and get back to work. If you stand still and wallow too long in victimhood, you will get stuck in the quicksand of self-doubt and that my friends, can be tricky to dig yourself out of. It’s similar to someone who falls off the current diet “wagon.” The quicker you get back on and return to your healthy routines, the lower your risk of getting swept away in negative self-talk or old unhealthy patterns.
Failure is part and parcel of success. Knowing you’re going to fail before you do, is a tremendous asset. Because you can anticipate a comeback. So the next time you fail, take a minute if you need, but bounce back and do so quickly. Your vision awaits.
There is no substitute for hard work.
“Nothing will work unless you do” – Maya Angelou.
I’m currently reading Ego is the enemy, by Ryan Holiday. In it, he talks about how we often get in the way of our own success by talking about the things we’re going to do rather than just doing them. He says “Talk depletes us. Talking and doing, fight for the same resources. Research shows that while goal visualization is important, after a certain point, our mind begins to confuse it with actual progress. The same goes for verbalization”.
I’ve never been afraid of hard work, quite the opposite actually. When you enjoy what you do, it’s easy to be working around the clock. So while I haven’t had to practice working harder, I’ve had to learn to work smarter. If you have an entrepreneurial mind that runs a mile-a-minute like I do, continually thinking of things you can improve, new ideas to implement or projects you should pursue, you know it can get overwhelming very fast. If you’re not careful, your business can just become “busyness” and you may spend more time thinking than actually doing.
You need to work hard to get what you want. Really hard. Late nights and early mornings. Weekends. Holidays. Harder than anyone else. But you also need to work smart. You need get organized and practical by focusing on one task at a time before moving to the next while continuously monitoring your progress to make sure your hard work is paying off.
My first business experience was a lemonade stand I ran in front of my parents house back in the 90s. I woke up early one morning before anyone else to get to work on my stand. With a large felt marker, I wrote on a cardboard in block letters: “Lemonade $5.00”, got some lemonade going and was ready for my first day. My father later made me change my sign to $0.10 because, well, five bucks was a bit too steep for that time, but once that was done, I grabbed my pink magic echo microphone and used it to make my pitch from my stand. It was a slow day. We lived on a tranquil street with barely any traffic, so as excited as I was, it didn’t go as planned. But, I learned the importance of pricing and location that day.
Before Motive Nutrition, this was my only business experience. Needless to say, I’ve had to learn a lot of things on my own. I’ve done so through lots of reading, implementing, measuring and readjusting. Audiobooks have been game-changing for me since I can listen and learn while I commute. I am also continually keeping up to date with what is going on within the field of health and nutrition, because business landscapes change, science changes, markets change, and you need to be adaptable and open to change as well if you want to stay relevant.
Believe in yourself
It’s imperative to surround yourself with people who will support you. You want friends and family who will encourage you, through thick and thin. But most importantly, YOU need to believe in you. If you don’t, then it’s over before it’s even begun.
I’ve learned that it takes an extreme amount of hard work, self-improvement and resiliency to do well in business. But it also takes an unwavering faith in yourself. That’s because you are the only one who truly knows what you’re capable of. You’re the only one who can vouch for your work. You’re the only one who can truly represent your brand. Nobody else can do it for you. So it’s imperative that you believe in yourself if you want others to.
Is it normal to doubt yourself? Absolutely. But there is a big difference between self-doubt and a lack of confidence. Believing in yourself means knowing you can do it, even though in some instances, you’re not quite sure how you’re going to get there. Recognizing the difference can be tricky, but it’s worth understanding as soon as possible.
There you have it, the lessons I’ve learned in five years as a business owner. It’s funny because although we’re celebrating a milestone, it somehow feels like a new chapter, a new beginning. One thing is for sure, I am forever grateful for you and your support and extremely excited about what the next five years will bring. Cheers to health and happiness to come!
Share your comments
I would love to know which one of these lessons resonated with YOU the most. Also, let me know if you’d like more posts like this on work, career and productivity. If it’s something you enjoy, I’d be happy to share more.