2019 was the biggest year of professional, um, transition I’ve ever experienced in my life to date.
Coming to terms with the decline and ultimate “failure” of my beloved Uplift. Closing it down. Dealing with the aftermath. Still dealing with the aftermath. Diving into what’s next, i.e., the Great Unknown--because not only is it scary to start from scratch, but quality things take a long time to brew (Slow growth is the best growth, one of my extremely wealthy and successful businesswoman clients told me once).
After all was said and done, as the year drew to a close and I was working on my new company somewhat in earnest, and somewhat still shell-shocked from the previous ten months, I was left with my remaining personal training clients for income.
I love these women, I really do.
But I said a long time ago that I needed income that wasn’t reliant on me actually showing up in person to do the job (ie, as a personal trainer/hourly worker).
Plus, even if I work six/eight/ten hours a day as a trainer, I wouldn’t have any energy to work on my new venture (or anything else for that matter), plus it still wouldn’t necessarily be enough to get me to the financial future of my dreams, which is freedom--from debt, and being tied down to one place.
I’ve always been a risk taker, and I always always always have faith. But as I get older, I am also balancing that with a different side of me - financial security and responsibility are so vital to me now. I truly thrive on being independent and taking care of myself, and want to do so (very) comfortably.
So, until my new company is totally fleshed out and really launched, and I start making money from it, I had to manifest an alternative.
Thus, last fall, I added consulting to my areas of expertise - because over the last nearly ten years of founding, running, growing, and then closing a company and business, I certainly have a lot of knowledge to share.
In short order, seemingly out of nowhere, I got two consulting job offers.
I used to jokingly say I was inherently lazy, even though I work pretty much constantly, and have since I was 12 years old or younger, and am perceived by everyone else in the world to be a “hard worker.”
I’m not lazy, not at all, but it is a hard truth about me that I’ve dialed it in in the past. I’ve felt so stupid and guilty about the fact that instead of adding another hustle or creative solution (There’s always a solution, my Mom always says) when times were tough or rock bottom, I panicked and borrowed money from a source I shouldn't have (credit cards, my cousin, robbing Peter to pay Paul, digging myself into any given hole).
But right now, maybe for truly the first time ever, or maybe for the first ever being truly aware of doing so and doing so strategically, I am leaning into my work ethic.
I am DOING THE WORK.
My consulting job is for another fitness company, growing fast through their NYC studios in addition to a digital business and a huge franchising business.
I never in one million years thought I would ever work for another fitness business. Sort of in the same way I never thought I would still be personal training as a source of income.
But I am doing what I need to do to make all of my big dreams come true. And actually enjoying it.
Of course, working with a great team and being an inspiring leader is so more much enjoyable when I am not permanently sleepless from figuring out how to make payroll every two weeks.
But even better, the busier and more focused I am, the more productive I am in EVERY way. Every single day, in addition to working hard at my income-generating jobs, I do at least one action item to move my new company forward.
As one of my favorite Instagram accounts, Mrs Dow Jones, which is super-inspiring (and hilarious) when it comes to women, business, finances, and entrepreneurship, wrote in one post:
6 months of hardcore focus and alignment can put you 5 years ahead in life. Don’t underestimate the power of consistency and desire. You have what it takes to become the best that you can be. Don’t ever doubt yourself. Harness your power. Exceed your expectations.
It’s a marvel: work ethic + hustle + awareness + responsibility is pretty magical because it shows me that I am making progress in every realm. Soup to nuts. Micro to macro.
Yes, doing the work is hard. It requires commitment, focus, and consistency. That doesn’t preclude rest, recovery, and fun with friends, but it might mean a hiatus on Midtown happy hours or expensive vacations for a while.
Bottom line: all things in life, even/especially all the really good things, the things worth having (your own successful business, starting your second company, finding the right long-term relationship, building your dream house) all require hard work more often than not.
And, to all my people working on something other than your “main” thing-- the thing you really want to be doing, the thing you’re insanely passionate about, your new company, getting your dream job, finding a life partner, buying that apartment, whatever it is--keep showing up for ALL the things.
Because everything outside the “main” thing you’re working on is getting you there (You’re exactly where you need to be right in this moment in time, says Cara Alwil Leyba)!
And it’s practice for when you are there.
Do the work. Whatever it is. Give all you can honestly and vulnerably (authentically).
Oh, and most importantly, and probably most uncomfortably, face the things you don’t want to face about yourself.
Because doing the work? It starts with doing the work on me. The rest flows to--and from--there.