In this episode of Permission to Leap:
We talk about why it’s important to face adversity and learn how to overcome it.
Erin shares her biggest biz mistakes that kept her stuck –
like believing she couldn’t do it alone,
throwing money at a problem before she understood it and,
the fatal error, of not fully understanding her customer.
This episode of Permission to Leap allows you to see where mistakes can be used as fuel for growth in your business and in your life.
Truth: Everyone – Everyone who builds a digital business gets stuck at some point, somewhere along the way. The key is to recognize you’re stuck…and not let that stuck-ness define you…
Listen, Whether you’re at the very, very beginning of your journey or you’ve been in the game for a while and need a complete rewrite of your playbook.
I’m here to help you get unstuck.
Get into your Zone of Genius. To redefine and re-tell your story… flip the script as they say…
By the way, I’m Erin Trafford …digital entrepreneur, coach, mentor and strategist… This show is all me, sharing my true to life, authentic, no BS approach to business building. I promise to share with you the reality of what it takes to turn an idea into profit and a passion into a business.
This is Permission to Leap
Before we get started – just a little FYI that you can find out more about me, this show and how we can work together by visiting my website at www.erintrafford.com – or simply drop me an email at email@example.com … or follow me on Instagram where my handle is @its.erintrafford…
Use the hashtag Permission To Leap
And if you’re ready to put your biz on the fast track and want some serious insight into my lessons and philosophies for building a six-figure biz – head to ErinTrafford.com under the Popular Resources tab and pick up your free copy of my eBook – also called Permission to Leap – it’s 80+ pages of lessons and actionable tips to help you build the biz of your dreams. It comes as a PDF download directly to your inbox…and yes – it’s absolutely free…
Today – I want to pull back the veil a bit – and get a little woo-ey. I’m actually going to get a bit vulnerable and share some of my significant failures that I’ve experienced in building my biz.
We are going to get into the nitty gritty, how-to, and strategy stuff in later episodes… but honestly, I feel like if you’re ready to take this journey with me via this podcast, you really need to understand and get a feel for who I am …
Time and time again, my clients tell me they love working with me because I’m brutally honest with them. I call them on their bullshit and I help them see themselves (and their content and business strategies) in an entirely new light and energy.
Today, I’m going to share with you a few things that happened to me that helped me develop and harness those skills and hopefully provide you with some actionable insights along the way.
I’m telling you – I failed. I hurt. I hit hard times and I had to figure out how to get out of them. And I’m telling you this not to pump myself up, but to demonstrate that EVERYONE, literally EVERYONE in business gets stuck at some point in time.
Not only that – but the key – the absolute KEY to success in this online world – whether you are a blogger, a digital service provider, a software engineer, a photographer, a naturopath, whatever you are.. The KEY to success is to get out of your own head and into your business.
You’re reading this (I’m guessing) because you have a drive inside of you to be more, do more and to build some sort of business that will serve you and your family.
You might be stuck on how to do it, but you know you’ve got a fire in your belly and a passion in your heart.
I’m here because my passion is ignited by helping people like you.
The simple truth is that over the past decade, I’ve combined all my years of building stories, telling stories, strategizing content for bloggers, brands, service providers and corporations into one powerhouse of a digital business.
I’m basically a Digital Strategy Unicorn. (Yes, I used that word because that is a word that my clients frequently use when describing me!)
I teach people like you how to step back to see the Big Picture Potential for their digital businesses and then I teach people How To Action that plan – right down to the nittiest of grittiest details.
If you follow through, you will clarify your vision, conceive of your plan, feel supported …and you will have already leapt into the great, free, world of possibilities.
But let’s get to truth time, shall we? I mean, that’s why you’re here.
I’ve been in the online business world for a long time (more than a decade as I write these words!) Before I entered it fully, I was a fancy tv anchor.
But I was living hand to mouth. I was racking up debt like no one’s business. I was living with the horror of infertility on top of a diagnosis of recurrent kidney infections and stones.
I was drinking myself to sleep most nights. I wasn’t living any life, let alone a fulfilling and abundant one.
I woke up one day and was suddenly struck by the knowledge that I was more afraid to continue living my life the same way than of taking massive action to change it all.
And I never looked back.
And listen, the path was not smooth. I had some very tough, real life lessons along the way.
I had some massive hang-ups and they are actually some of the same hang ups that I see in my clients now…
One of my biggest, earliest hangups was not believing I could leverage my genius by myself.
In the beginning, I kept shooting myself in the foot by trying to work with someone else. It was like I felt having a partner was going to safeguard me from being criticized, failing, or falling flat on my face.
It was like a security blanket.
For example, in 2017, as I was coming off maternity leave, I signed up to be an associate strategist at a small boutique marketing firm in the city I live in. It was run by one man (he was essentially the company). He had a cool philosophy about marketing and business and I thought I could work with him.
Plus, I was dazzled at the idea of still having a steady pay cheque (even though it worked out to being paid pennies for hours).
But from the minute I said yes to him, I could feel a shift in my body for the worse.
I was undercharging for my brilliance. He was questioning my every decision. In fact, one day, he literally sat and read everything I did over my shoulder.
And yet, he wanted the world from me.
My body would tense as I rode up the elevator each day. I’d find I had to run to the ladies room to cry it out after being asked to tackle menial office tasks that I knew I shouldn’t have on my plate.
I left that contract after the 90 day probation period and after he stopped paying me the pittance he’d agreed to pay.
It certainly left a bad taste in my mouth and you’d think I’d have learned my lesson.
No. I didn’t. I fell into a trap again. Because what we resist persists. One of the most powerful lessons I can teach you is that if you ignore your blocks instead of conquering them – they will continue to show up in your life over and over again in different ways. I didn’t do the work to get over my fear of going out alone… and inevitably, I fell into the same pattern again.
In 2018, I felt like I had a better sense of how I wanted to show up in the world – at least for my corporate clients. So I signed an actual partnership contract with a woman who had great ideas, good experience and decent contacts in the corporate world.
It was a great relationship.
But we couldn’t ever really get clear on WHAT we were and WHO we were serving. Not only that, but we were either getting hung up on the nitty gritty details or completing failing to see the Big Picture Potential in what we were doing.
What did that look like in practice? A total fucking gong show.
We’d get giant companies on the line, hook them with our personalities and philosophy and fall entirely flat when it came to delivering what the client actually wanted and needed from us.
We made some money, but in the end, the business was costing me money to maintain.
It was bleeding me dry financially and emotionally.
I finally threw in the towel after being on a joint sales call in which I sat (muted on Zoom) while my business partner berated a potential client over her desire to simplify her digital strategy. This only came after a client nearly threw up after seeing a business proposal we sent that was literally 10x bigger and more expensive than what she was expecting.
(Lesson number one in digital sales: never surprise the client with a service proposal or a price tag. We will talk about this in a future episode, I promise)
I just couldn’t keep trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
The fit was wrong. Having a partner – in BOTH CASES – wasn’t saving me from failure. It was holding me back from success.
I needed to give myself FULL permission to leap. (are you seeing the parallels with the name of this podcast? I mean, this is why this show was so important for me to work out… because we are all – at some point – looking for Permission to just Do. The. Thing)
I’m telling you these things because the reality is that as soon as we release a grip on what we think is true – when we identify and release those blocks… I swear up and down that actual magic happens.
Once I did? As soon as I stepped out on my own? THings happened so flipping quickly… giving myself permission to leap was the greatest rocketfuel I ever gave to my business.
So what happened next?
I spent one week (honestly just ONE WEEK), holed up in my home office and launched my own digital consultancy business.
A week after that, I’d signed my first three clients and brought in more money in one month than I had in the entire preceding three months.
The next week? I found a business coach who had done what I wanted to do and I paid for her services in full and in cash.
That was the start of my digital transformation. And if you’re listening to this – your story can be similar…
So what have we learned today? What is your lesson that you can take and put into action right now?
Find the ways you are blocking yourself from taking your next steps. Be real with yourself about what you want and what you know you are capable of doing.
Then – and this is your homework – give yourself permission to DO SOMETHING to get there… a tiny step. Maybe it’s just listening to this podcast…
Maybe it’s emailing someone about a possible contract.
Maybe it’s finally figuring out how to set up that blog, making your Instagram profile public, reaching out to that brand for a collaboration.
You need to do SOMETHING.
Break those blocks. Harness the power and learnings in those perceived failures and turn them into points of strength and growth.
Take permission to leap…