As I walked out of the doors after my meeting and they close behind me I felt like pinching myself. I couldn’t take the smile off my face. I did it! I really did it!
I had lived the cliché and my dream “hippy on the hill” for the last 3 years and had left it behind disillusioned and lost in July of 2012. Out of this space I found coaching. My coaching journey started late November 2012. I flew to Melbourne with my son who was, at that time just 4 mths old, determined and committed to change my life. To change my family’s lives and to change the world.
I left intake on such an incredible high. With all the gold that was shared and the new friendships formed, how could you not?! But my high soon spiralled into the deepest despair I have ever felt with the sudden death of my soul sister and dearest friend in a car accident the very next day. (My first rollercoaster dip to come back up from) My dear friend was a wild child and a free soul with a determined spirit and I knew that she would kick my arse if I used her death as a reason why I couldn’t. So I committed to not allowing this or anything to be an excuse as to why I don’t do what is necessary to achieve the goal I set out to achieve. I allowed myself to grieve and continue on. One of my first big lessons in managing state!
A week later triads started and within a month I had established my website, I had recorded my first product, “The Success Principles”, my business cards had arrived and my Facebook page was up. I was ready to present my very first seminar “Your best year yet” on January 11th 2013. Mainly filled with family and friends the night was a success. I knew there was (And always will be) plenty of room for improvement so I filmed the event to see where I could improve which I watched after. I left that first event very excited, probably a little cocky and ready to book another 50!
I knew from past experience that I could speak. I knew I could engage a room and I knew I sucked when it came to selling myself. So I found someone to help me with that. I enrolled in a 12-month marketing program to help me learn the skills I would need to take my business where I my vision had it.
My next few seminars however had very small numbers and I quickly learnt the importance of a network and list. I had begun networking already but stepped it up a notch by attending two a week, sometimes more.
My first client came about through a strategy I was implementing of calling gyms and offering a free 1hour seminar on self-talk, (using their lists) I was booking these once a month or more if I could. One of the managers called me up to ask for more info before I had even given the talk! We had a discovery session and she signed up for my 3-month program at the time, The Pursuit of Happiness, that retailed for $1500.00!! Needless to say, I was over the moon!
By this stage my partner had injured his arm and was unable to work and so I took that as a message from the universe that I was ready. He would look after the children and I would work fulltime in and on my business. The side effect to this situation was I then had a very small amount of money to play with. I started to get very creative on how I could continue on with all my business expenses. It meant more talks at the gyms as they did all the promo using material I provided. And more networking.
As time passed I remained confident, focusing on the success principles and implementing everything I was learning about myself through coaching I was doing with other students, my marketing program and through TCI webinars and the cert IV manual. I also had some of the audios in the car to keep me focused. Tunnel vision is an understatement at this point. Everything I did was modelling anyone and everyone I viewed as a success. To the point that I realised one day I had gone too far and lost myself. I had a few more clients now and was starting to become known in the local business community. An opportunity had come my way from Telstra as well so on one level I felt like everything was going well, but I really couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t hitting the mark. I hadn’t nailed my niche and I was ready to. I also realised that I had modelled so much that I had ignored my past. I rejected where I had come from and the lessons I had learnt along that journey.
I spoke with another student, the lovely Kelly Prime about how I was feeling and she suggested a parts integration. So we played and I accepted myself as whole and complete.
Within 2 days I was shown “the way” through a friend sharing an article she had read about workplace culture and women in leadership. So again, I jumped in. This time bringing ALL of myself. I planned on expanding my business program (which I had yet to sell) and take it to the corporate arena. I allowed myself to be whisked away and chase the shiny thing that I longed for and I dropped the ball on core. BIG lesson! As I planned with a college, and planned some more. My marketing slowed to a halt and all of a sudden I had no new clients coming in which equals no money. I learnt the hard way. Look after CORE! Sharon says it, Joe says it. Pretty much anyone in business will say it in one way or another. There is a reason for that. Core is fundamental to forward movement and growth. So in case you have not heard it enough. LOOK AFTER CORE!
When the shiny thing didn’t eventuate and my core was no longer, I hit another steep decline on my rollercoaster ride. What was my lesson? CORE yes, but I thought I was on the right track. I was on the right track! Focused determination Nerida. I committed to maintaining my vision for this program but pushing it back to a 5yr goal. I also decided that if everything else I had tried to be hadn’t “worked” I would strip back the bullshit. Strip back the front and be myself. I wrote a blog piece on my journey in business for the first time being very real and raw and added a call to action at the bottom for a new seminar.
Within 2 days I had outsold any seminar I had previously run and nearly filled the room! Vulnerability. Not something I had been good at in the past. But the very thing I had to embrace within myself to connect with my avatar.
I held my new seminar on December 5th 2013 and I sold my new program designed for this newly discovered avatar and niche from stage. From 8 potential clients (10 in the room) I sold 2 programs on the night. I was so excited to have found my groove and was inspired by the women in the room and the response I had received.
The next day I got a message on Facebook from one of the women who attended. She had told her boss about how inspired and motivated she was after attending and how they NEED to get me in to work with the women there! Was I interested in coming in for a meeting to discuss the possibilities? Ummmm. YES!
I was finding that my life began to start to take two very distinct paths. My business and my dream were coming together brilliantly. My family was falling apart.
The night before my meeting with Fremantle Ports I left my partner. I borrowed clothes, asked for my family to watch my son and went anyway. “Keep showing up Nerida – Manage your state” The meeting went well and she asked for a proposal. I sent through the proposal a few weeks later after Christmas break as agreed.
At the same time I was having mentoring sessions with the amazing Mary-Anne at TCI around goal setting and dropping the bullshit excuses I had around setting goals which gave me even more clarity on the direction I needed to go. I also got very clear on where I was at financially, what had the year been like. Up until then I had made $14,500.00. “That’s a hobby”. Not a nice feeling. Time to get my business hat on!
Being on my own now with three kids I knew financially I was running out of time. So I gave myself until the end of March. 10 paying clients or get a job.
I reminded myself and the universe that I wanted this BAD. And, that I was not attached to having it. I continued with my visualisations, SMART goal reminders twice a day and kept doing the do.
A phone call follow up a week after sending the proposal and I heard “I have discussed your proposal with the head of the department and we have decided to go ahead with it” WHAT?!?!?!? My mini me is screaming and my legs starting to want to move to the beat of a song rising up within me. Focus Nerida “everything you have proposed with the addition of two extra women and we would like to round it off at $40K. Does that work for you?” Are you fucking kidding?!?! (Obviously did not say that) “Sure” I said, “I’m sure we can manage two more ladies” We set a date for the contract to be signed and hung up the phone.
I jumped and screamed and laughed and cried all at the same time. I didn’t stop smiling and crying for about an hour. It had worked. Everything I believed about determination, about focus and clarity. About action and possibility. It had worked! I allowed myself to believe in me. I gave myself permission to believe in me and to take the action required to see me live my potential. I invested in me, more than I ever have before. I stayed believing in my dream even when everyone else thought I should play it safe.
Two weeks later on the 6th of February 2014 and just over a year after officially starting my business, I signed my first corporate client at $40,000.00 for a 12-week program for 12 women. This program sits in with the needs of my family and I can deliver the program and maintain my marketing calendar on a three-day work week! It absolutely represents me and what I believe to be my purpose. To change the way business is done and what business does by empowering more women into leadership roles. HOLY SHIT BALLS!!
I am so proud of myself! That I had the courage to walk this path and the strength to walk through all the ups and downs in business and in my personal life. One thing is for sure, life happens. Shit happens. But it truly is how we deal with the things that come up for us that determine our outcomes.
Will you show up one more time? Will you believe and have the courage to take action? Will you have the courage to look deep within yourself and make peace with yourself and get the fuck out of your own way?
Stay focused. Trust that each lesson is necessary for your growth and then grow from it. Do the do and live YOUR truth. If I can go from a poverty minded hippy on a hill to where I stand today living my dream in 18mths. Then you can too!
I believe we all have a unique gift for this world that only we can give in our own quirky way. Model the process and stay true to you. For there isn’t anyone else who can be youer than you ;)