First up, what is a lifeprenuer?
My perception of a lifeprenuer is…
Someone who emotionally, spiritually, logically and mentally connects with their business values and goals, by making positive lifestyle changes in order to create a successful path.
You’ve probably discovered by now that successful people have daily habits, routines, rituals and tools that they use in order to be successful. Such things like practising mindfulness and yoga before the day has begun or before they do a presentation are all common practice within the entrepreneurial world.
Connecting the two is as important as writing a business plan to pitch the bank or investor for money, without it you are destined for failure, however, there are ways in which you can avoid this and set yourself (literally) up for success.
I started my first business when I was 21, I worked full time and I used to run events on the weekends as well as DJ. I wanted to achieve everything I had ever dreamed of and had such a passion for what I wanted so I applied myself and made those dreams happen. I worked until 12 am most nights and woke up at 5 am most mornings – trust me, I showed up for my goals and dreams.
After around 3 years of being on the go constantly without a break and additional life pressures, it finally all got on top of me and I had to stop. I couldn’t go on anymore. I had finally broken myself. I figured that can’t be the right way to go about things, working all these long hours and trying to juggle everything was exhausting.
But once you get the bug for running your own business and making lots of money, it doesn’t leave you. For years after, I always had these business ideas in my head. Would this idea work? What else could I do? Was there another way? What else was I passionate about? How could I start another business? What could that business be? All the questions and all the ideas.
Sadly over time, my-self doubt kicked in and I let it all slip by the wayside. I lost myself, I lost my ambition, I lost my self-confidence, I lost hope. It dented my self-belief more than I had realised. Instead, I ended up advising on business startups and despite enjoying this, I still felt like something was missing.
Having searched for the answer year after year, I came to the conclusion that I needed to take all my lessons, evaluate my goals and values and do some serious soul-searching.
I was able to find positives from my mistakes and pass these valuable little gems on. I figured I could quite happily do this as a viable business but that idea passed and I was back to focusing 100% on a career in a PAYE job because I had bills to pay and food to put on the table. The thought of approaching business the way I had beforehand, put me off.
What I neglected to realise was that I just wasn’t ready, it wasn’t my time yet. I still had much more to learn and discover about myself.
As a natural giver of life, I wanted to be able to give something back as I find it much more rewarding to know I have helped someone. But obviously giving without charging means you end up broke. I am also that person that works above and beyond what I’m meant to. I always do more hours than I actually bill for and I used to come with a “sale label” effectively. I have totally undervalued myself – I think we are all guilty of that.
A valuable lesson I have learnt over the years is that I really do offer value in more ways than one. I’ve taken a step back, seen the results, heard the feedback. So all the working for low fees, sometimes free and giving away more than I should it turns out, that it was worth doing because they all made me realise that I am good at what I do and helped me realise that I can, I do and will continue to charge for my frickin’ awesome experience and knowledge.
I don’t often blow my own trumpet but when you are approached because people want to work with you, then you know you must be doing something right. No more undervaluing myself.
5 Lessons as a Lifepreneur
On to some lessons that I hope you can either relate to or at least take something positive away from them.
Be accountable! Yes, that old chestnut. Only you can make things happen in your life, only you have the control. Of course, outside forces can prevent you but it’s how you react to those knockbacks that define you. Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. The bit when you make loads of money and live the lifestyle you longed for is, but you don’t get to that point without working for it. From this day on, promise yourself that you and you alone will be the driver of your destiny and won’t wait for opportunities to land on your lap – it just doesn’t happen.
Manifest your goals. Be clear and specific about your goals. Use whatever tools you need to make sure that you physically write them down and so that you can easily access them. One of the best methods is using the SMART goals method, check out my post which explains how to use the SMART method and has free downloadable worksheets. Write down your dreams, ask the universe to provide. It’s all within your reach once you know how to harness it.
Invest In Yourself
You are the vessel, machine, the driving force that will take you on your journey. You are the person that will experience all there is in your life. So, look after yourself. Take time out to practice self-care, to read books, to learn, to rest, to sleep. Make yourself a priority, not an option. Without you well, rested and happy; how could you possibly achieve your goals in the fulfilling way you want to? You’ve heard of people that “make it” in life but are still unhappy – don’t be one of them.
Surround Yourself With Real Love
I can’t stress enough how important this is. Having jealous, negative and unkind people around you will only ever have one outcome. They will hold you back in life. They will suck every bit of energy from you so that you don’t have any left to work on you and your goals – they will suck the life out of you. Don’t let those people, stop you from living the life you deserve. Sometimes we have to make harsh decisions in life for the greater good. You are not an emotional bucket for other people and you are not someone else’s prisoner.
Love Your Own Company
5 years ago there would have been zero chance I would have sat in a cinema on my own watching Star Wars. 4 years ago, that all changed. Through all that I had been through, I was desperate for some space. Some Kat time. Some time to just be still. Block the world out. So I started spending time with myself. It started as a hot chocolate date and now I often take myself off to the cinema once a month, alone with a bottle of water in hand and a box of popcorn in the other. I spend each night alone once my children are in bed. I spend the 3 hours they are at nursery alone and the weekends they see their dad, I am pretty much 80% of the time alone. I love my own company, I love being able to do what I want to do like write, work on my businesses, read and watch films. The time I have that is spare is very precious to me because the rest of the time I am giving – always giving. I don’t matter all the other time so that’s why I need to recharge and enjoy some down time even if it’s consists of working.
My top tip to get started with enjoying your own company, especially if you have never done it before; would be to take yourself off for a cuppa somewhere. Make a date with yourself in public to sit quietly or to sit and read over a cuppa. It’ll be for as long as you can cope and then make another date with yourself the following week and keep doing and increase the time. At some point, there will be a moment that it will be second nature and you will gladly take yourself off to the cinema to enjoy some downtime.
No worthy lessons that needed to be learned were ever labelled easy. The lessons I have listed above have derived from pain, anger, hurt, heartache, experience, frustration, sadness and deep soul searching. Life isn’t always as straightforward as some people like to make out it is. Sadly, it is full of pain and heartache at times, it’s how we deal with those experiences and emotions that define us and determine our destiny.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger right? Where possible we need to turn negative life lessons into positive outcomes and positive new paths. Not always easy I know, but focusing on how you want your life to map out will be your driving force. So start writing down all your goals and dreams and let the universe and your determination manifest them.