I felt weird about business this year…. largely because it played out against a backdrop of massive global unrest.
As I was opening the cart for my first launch in 2017, Trump unexpectedly closed borders and announced a travel ban from some Muslim-majority countries.
While we introduced a funnel that generates sales allllllmost every day, France was deciding whether or not to vote in far-right presidential election candidate Le Pen. (Thankfully Gallic sense prevailed!)
While I holidayed in Italy, 814 civilians died in the conflict in Syria.
This year the elected leader of a country that used to be great, repeatedly did his best to fuck shit up for countless underprivileged, at-risk folk. His idiocy would be laughable if it weren’t for the obscene fear-mongering and deadly impact on civil rights, global peace, minority groups, women, genuine freedom of speech, inclusion, evidence-based decision-making, delivery of international aid, and access to life-saving health care.
Here in Australia, our disappointingly spineless leader called for an expensive and demeaning plebiscite that put the dignity, health, wellbeing and safety of vulnerable citizens at risk. And he did it all in the name of covering his own ass, rather than making the call he already knew the majority of Australians wanted him to make. (Thankfully same-sex marriage was made legal earlier this month in Australia.)
He also left humans in our care to die on Manus Island.
Everywhere countless women came forward to share their stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault. I don’t personally know any women who don’t have stories to share.
And of course, this year my dad had a transplant and continues to battle leukaemia.
In comparison to all this, my business, desires, happiness, and hurts felt selfish and inconsequential…
BUT after thinking long and hard about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that:
It really is the beginning of the Age of Aquarius.
Thriving Women-Led Business Is More Important Than Ever
I get it. It’s natural to want to curl into a tiny ball, protect yourself, and stay small in this climate. In many ways, that’s what I did this year. BUT BUT BUT empowered women who make their own money and own decisions will change the world.
To be clear, I’m not just talking about impacting existing socioeconomic systems or eradicating violence and sexual assault or human trafficking. Research (yes, evidence-based findings cited by the United Nations, yo!) says that due to existing cultural norms, right now climate change will impact women more than men.
Conscious women in influential roles, whether it be in our homes, communities, businesses and governments can and will change everything. And we are all a part of it.
In 2018, I’m going to remember this.
Even If You’re Not Ready, It’s Time To Rise
That’s why, even if, like me, you feel nervous to claim it, lady, it’s time to step up as the leader you are and rise.
Our communities, clients, colleagues, and peers – as well as our young women and our young men – are watching and modelling us. It’s our duty to show others what’s possible.
Know it’s true, but don’t feel entirely ready? Me neither. If it helps, it’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s about so much more than just us.
Own Your Preferences
A big lesson for me this year has been around owning my preferences.
I realised there are things in my business I don’t want to do. Even though I could. Even though those things would bring in a bunch of extra revenue. Even though I see my friends doing them and loving life. Even though on paper it makes a lot of sense.
For a long while, I tried to keep it a secret that I wasn’t enjoying certain parts of my business. I didn’t want to offend anyone. I wanted to keep my options open (who knows, I might change my mind down the track!).
Just a few weeks ago, I finally let myself come clean to Sarah and my mastermind crew. What a relief! Also, surprise, surprise no one judged me or seemed offended!
So often when we’re not enjoying business it’s because we think it needs to be done a certain way. I’ve heard this over and over again from private clients… and obviously, I needed my own wake-up call too.
A friendly reminder: you’re the boss of your business. You can do what the fuck you want.
You might notice me making some unusual moves and not going with the crowd next year. Now you know why.
Give Yourself What You Want (Even If Your Sensible Side Says It’s Too Much)
A week before we were due to head to Italy, I thought seriously about cancelling the trip. I just had so much on. The idea of tackling everything on my to-do list before boarding the flight and being in a position to switch off for more than a month felt wildly selfish and practically impossible. Rod was in a similar boat with his work. We were both putting ourselves under a lot of pressure.
But of course, the fact that I was considering calling everything off was even more reason WHY I needed to go. As soon as we were through customs at Sydney Airport (the true beginning of any holiday!) it struck me just how bogged down in the day to day I’d been, and how utterly sucked dry my adrenals and I felt.
Part of me had been prepared to give up what I wanted/knew I needed, and instead prioritise others short-term agendas. Moving forward I’m going to be extra vigilant about not making that mistake.
And that trip… well, I can’t quite put into words how transformational and what a homecoming it was. As is so often the way, as soon as I was officially on holidays, I had a really REALLY great idea. Not to mention I came back with my cup full, clear on my boundaries and values, and with an incredible sense of personal freedom.
It’s Okay To Not Know The Full Path Now
A couple of months ago, I clearly saw the next evolution of Betty Means Business. It dropped into my lap so casually and with SO MUCH certainty. I was like, ‘oh hello, there you are’.
But while I had a strong sense of the WHAT, the path HOW to get there was way less clear. Honestly, I still don’t have the HOW fully worked out.
At first, I felt uncomfortable and frustrated not being able to clearly see the full path to my vision immediately. But after wrestling with it, I now know it’s all good. Keeping the vision clear – and coming back to it daily – is most important. The details will unfold in their own time.
I’m excited! Keep your eyes peeled, I’ll be sharing more on this with you very soon.
Now I’d love to hear from you. What was one of your biggest lessons in 2017? Do you connect with any of my lessons from the year?