Hello and welcome to The B-Side, a mastermind group for entrepreneurial women! On the first of each month, I share my business-related goals, challenges, and triumphs while inviting you to do the same! I’d love for you to join me; you can learn more about participating by clicking here.
It feels sooo good to be back!
How are you doing? Did you miss me? I can’t believe my August sabbatical is over already! As I said when I first put up my sabbatical post I really, really, really DID NOT want to take a month off but I truly felt the strongest urge that it was something I needed to do.
Having gone through it, I’m so glad I did. In fact, I think this is something I want to incorporate in my life on a regular basis. Not sure what month I’ll do it next year but I’m now convinced that taking a few weeks to a month off once a year is something everyone should try! The insight you gain on your personal, professional, and spiritual life is really amazing!
Last Month’s Results
So what did I learn? Girl. Pages and pages worth of stuff. No, seriously, I have a notebook with PAGES full of all the insight I felt God so graciously gave me during my little “time out”. I’m going to do a separate post going over everything that happened and everything I learned but let me say that during this sabbatical, God reveled that the challenges I was facing were rooted in issues so much deeper than general frustration with my business ambitions. The frustration and confusion were the symptoms, but fear, idolatry (i.e. turning my dreams into an idol!), and a general lack of trusting in God were the root cause. I know this walk with God is a life long journey so I wouldn’t dare say that this 30 day sabbatical has “solved” everything but it has realigned me and given me a stronger, more purpose-filled direction going forward.
Yeah, there’s just so much to talk about and explain. I’ll leave it at that for now but I promise to get super deep with you in my upcoming, post-sabbatical write-up. So stay tuned!
This Month’s Business Goals
Before going into the sabbatical, some of my biggest frustrations stemmed from me not knowing what I should work on. I had a gazillion ideas and they all seemed awesome, so I tried to force myself to work on them all at the same time. Big disaster. Now that I’ve had a chance to step back and gain new insight, I’ve decided to prioritize two things: facing fears and iteration. Facing fears is just what it sounds like — I want to set and achieve goals that move me further and further past my comfort zone. There’s a lot I want to do but honestly haven’t done yet just because I’m scared! No bueno, I’m facing my fears head on. By “iteration”, I mean quickly accomplishing small milestones and building up from there. I have a lot of grandiose visions but I know I have to baby step my way there, just like anything else in life. So with those priorities in mind, my goals for September are:
- Secure a location and Fall date for my event. I don’t know why I’ve been so scared to do this silly event but I have! Nevertheless, I’m doing it! I recently linked up with I’sha from HoneyBeNatural Magazine and she is helping me put on my first event here in Dallas! I’m shooting for late October/early November. I already have the concept and agenda down, we just need a location and date so we can start recruiting women to sit on the panel (this will be a panel discussion event). Really excited (and nervous) about it!
- Publish my “Find Your Purpose” blog post. During my sabbatical I had a major flash of inspiration for an entire workbook and even e-book devoted to helping women align with their purpose. In the spirit of iteration (start small and build up from there), I want to publish a detailed blog post on the topic to see how my readers respond. If the post is a success and I get good feedback, I will use the feedback to begin turning it into a book/workbook. So stay tuned for that!
- Schedule at least 5 “Pick your brain” Skype calls with my readers. Lately I’ve been learning a lot about a concept called “minimum viable product“. It’s basically a philosophy in entrepreneurship where you discover what your target market’s needs and problems are, then you develop a “minimum viable product” (MVP) to help your market meet their needs/solve their problems. Once your MVP is built, you improve it and build upon it based on the feedback you receive (iteration) until you get to your final product. Companies like Ecko Unlimited, Nasty Gal (#GIRLBOSS Author), and Skillshare have done this with much success. Before you can create a MVP, you need to know all about your prospective clients first! I recently conducted a survey that somewhat accomplished this, but I want to go more in-depth by speaking with my readers face to face.
None yet! The sabbatical has kind of given me a “reset” so I don’t have any challenges now. I’m sure I’ll pick up some (lol) as I get back in the groove of working on my goals.
Current Successes/What’s Working
- Trusting God. Duh! You know I was going to say that. But seriously, that was one of my biggest revelations during this sabbatical — It’s my job to take diligent action towards the dream and purpose that God has called me to, but I don’t need to get so crazy and obsessive about the end result. Which leads me to…
- Focusing on intention-based actions versus outcomes. Instead of obsessing over the end result all the time, I’ve committed to focusing on the present and the actions I’m taking here and now. I of course take action with the intention of producing certain results, but I’m realizing more and more that it’s not my job to “make” things happen, it’s my job to consistently take the action that leads to the desired result (outcome). The future outcome will only happen if I’m consistent about doing what I need to do today. So that’t what I’m focusing on.
- Fostering my creativity. A huge, unexpected by-product of last month’s sabbatical was that I was pretty much tuned out from the blogging world. Instead of reading blogs and surfing the internet, I spent a lot of time reading a TON of books (seriously, I think I have 11 checked out from the library right now) on a variety of topics. Without meaning to, I ended up getting a lot of creative ideas just from learning more about other topics and industries. I realized that I had spent to much time reading about my little niche and focusing on what “experts” and “gurus” have to say. I don’t know about you, but when I’m not constantly broadening my horizons, I get creatively stifled and have a hard time coming up with anything new and remarkable. I knew this before I went on my sabbatical but I was so focused on becoming “a success” that I felt that I had to stay plugged into what everyone else was doing. The sabbatical, however, forced my to unplug and seek new sources of inspiration. This was awesome for me; I’m going to continuing seeking new sources of inspiration and fostering my creativity.
- Share your goals, challenges and successes in the comments.
- The goal of this mastermind is to support each other, so be sure to read all the comments and check out all the participating blogs and businesses! If you have something to offer, leave a comment and help each other out!
- If you are a blogger, feel free to create a post sharing your entrepreneurial goals, challenges, and successes (via the format above) on your blog and link back here. You can even grab the button and include it in your post:
B-Side Facebook Group
Be sure to join the B-Side Facebook group! Since the B-side post will come out monthly, this women-only Facebook group will serve as a “hub” for us to ask questions, share what we have going on, and generally connect with each other on a day-to-day basis. You can join right now: http://facebook.com/groups/bsidebythinkandgrowchick