My Biggest Lesson of 2020
Your Biggest Vision
Season 2, Ep. 52

I have been trying to learn this lesson for years and in 2020, I finally did! The way I invest my money and the way I view money has shifted this past year. Before investing my money, I always used to focus solely on the return of my investment that I would receive above all else. This way of thinking wasn’t necessarily wrong, but it was also keeping me stuck. In this episode of the Your Biggest Vision Show, I share my biggest lesson of 2020- the mindset shift that transformed my life and business and allowed me to get out of my own way!


  • The biggest lesson I learned in 2020 and why it changed the way I think about my investments for good.


  • How this lesson of 2020 and crucial mindset shift allowed me to uplevel to get one step further into my biggest vision.


  • Why you will be in awe of the person you are once you learn this extremely useful perspective shift.
I have been trying to learn this lesson for years and in 2020, I finally did! Tune in to hear my biggest lesson of the year.

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2020 Lesson Quote 1
Lessons of 2020 Quote 2

Episode Transcription

Leah Gervais: So thank you guys for joining today. I want to talk to you about the biggest lesson of 2020. I finally learned it this year after years of either trying to learn it and not learning it or learning it incorrectly. And it is about money. It is about investing and it is really about how I kind of view money differently now. 


So I want to start by backing up a little bit too, when I started my business and when I started investing in my business and even like what I thought it was to invest in it and what that kind of, how I thought about that. So for the first, for the first year of my business, I didn’t invest in it at all and nothing happened in my business. So that’s how that one. And I soon figured out that that was not how I wanted to do this and that I wanted to do this right.


And I wanted to also obviously be profitable. So I started investing in my business about three years ago. And when I did this, I was very afraid to do so. I didn’t really have any money to invest in my business. I felt really vulnerable about it. And most importantly, I did not know how I was going to pay it back. I didn’t have any guarantee that I was going to pay it back and it overall really stressed me out. 


And the only way that I justify doing things was because I thought that maybe that investment would teach me or help me make that money back. So I constantly was trying to measure the likelihood or measure the risk around how much I spent and how likely it was that that would help me make it back. So for example, the first time I spent a lot of money, what was perceived to me as a lot of money at the time?


Well, money’s always relative, but it was a lot to me to spend that $5,000 on my business. I didn’t really feel like I had it at all. I actually, it’s not that I didn’t feel like I had, I did not have it. I had never spent that kind of money in my business in my life. And I just didn’t really know how I was going to make it back because I certainly was not making enough at my nine to five job to be able to, to, you know, create that kind of income back relatively quickly. And my business had never made anything like that. 


So the reason that I decided to do it, there were two reasons. One, I decided I was sick of doing things on my own. I was sick of guessing like that clearly wasn’t working. So I decided to do something more.


But the second reason was because I believed the main reason is because I believed that spending that money would allow me to make that money back. I believed it would allow me to reinvest back into my business and, and then some, so I was very clearly anticipating to make $5,000 by the end of that investment. Um, or to start making $5,000 a month. That was what was really going through my head. 


And I was able to do that. I was able to make it back. I was able to make it back time and time again, I honestly, don’t even like thinking about what my life would be like if I hadn’t made that investment, because now we, you know, obviously are at a place where we’re fortunate enough to make far more than $5,000 a month. So that investment paid off well, you know, over a hundred times, at least my point is actually, would it be a hundred times?


It’s still more, but yeah, actually it wasn’t that wasn’t so tongue in cheek. My point is that started this cycle for me of constantly measuring how much money I could make back from something. And only then making a decision to do it. Now, I want to make clear that this is a relatively good way to think about money, because this was an improvement for me. And if you’re listening to this, maybe you can relate if you’ve ever thought about money or an investment in your business, simply based on what you currently have, because if you make decisions from where you are, you will then stay exactly where you are. So if I would have waited until I had that $5,000, I either would have been waiting years. Like maybe I’d still be waiting, which is really what makes me sick to think about, or I never would have actually done it.


Something else would have happened. Something else in life would have come up, whatever the case may be, where I just simply wouldn’t have made it. And so the, the progression from going from thinking about investments, only as something I did, if I had the money in my bank account at the time, and only if I could afford it at the time, which is false thinking, because that allows you to only see exactly where you are to then deciding, to make investments based on what I thought they could give back to me was an improvement. And it was how my business started growing. And I did start seeing that money come back. And that’s great. That’s really great. But now let me share with you what, thinking like that, why I believe that that is only actually secondary to what I’ve ever gotten out of investments.


And what I really think is the wiser way to think about investing your money when you make big financial decisions. And so what it took for me to start thinking about this differently was actually not actually not really the same as an investment. Um, you know, I’ve invested a lot of money over the years in my branding and coaching for me in business building and mentorship and programs and education in all of that kind of stuff and retreats. 


I’ve always kind of thought to myself, what could this make me back? And I want to be clear that not everything that I do is about making money back. Not everything has such a clear R.O.I., like for example, things like, um, you know, if you take, like if you take scale or side hustle, for example, this is a great example of something that has a clear ROI because we teach you how to sell products and services.


We teach you how to build an audience. We teach you how to make that money back, but there’s also been things like spirituality type investments or life coaching, or, um, you know, more investments in myself, health coaching. Um, I consider the luxury gym. I used to pay for New York back in the gym days. Something that we’re, um, you know, I consider that an investment in me and spending money on me even then, I still would think, how can I make this money back? How is this going to elevate my earning potential? 


And it really does do believe that I believe that when you put yourself in a higher frequency, when you put yourself in a higher vibration and a higher community, you attract things that are at that new frequency. You attract things that are at that new high level. I’m spoiling my thunder here just a little bit, but my point is, even then I would think, well, maybe I could get clients from his gym and that would help me financially.


I always had put a financial bottom line to everything I always had asked myself, is this going to make me more money? So what changed this year? What helped me learn this lesson of 2020? What helped me kind of change the perspective and start seeing a bit wider about what investments did for me other than simply helped me make money back was actually one of the bigger financial decisions I had made in my business, which was when I hired my very first full-time, you know, all taxes, all benefits, like have to, uh, have to file for them type employee type employee. 


And for those of you that know me and work with me know that that employees, my beautiful sister, Abby. And so we have this really amazing experience together where we get to work and create every day together. And it has a lot of layers of meaning to us because we have lost our dad only, um, a year or two before we made this decision.


And he was an entrepreneur. So he’s kind of like our angel business partner. But anyway, that was a very scary decision for me because though I had had months where it would have been totally fine to pay her. And it wasn’t really about the number. It was about the commitment. It was about knowing that she was leaving her procedures job at a hedge fund in New York and her very stable job in New York to work for me and go, my business had grown quite a bit. I still, you know, had only had it for a few years. And the idea of now having this kind of like responsibility of a large amount of money every month that has to happen, you know, there’s no option around it anymore. It’s not my own livelihood where I can like figure things out or whatever the case may be.


And it’s not my business. Either business can, can kind of ebb and flow. I actually have some issue with that. That’s a different conversation. So my point is this was in a way an investment in my business. It was about having someone come on, full-time someone I trusted, um, to help me so that we could grow it and we could grow the platform and we could grow the visibility and the vision and all of that. 


And of course I expected that to increase our revenue. And 100% had has for those of you that are followed me this year, you know, that we had like $20,000 at the beginning of the year, which I was so excited about. And now we have, we’ve had six figure months, um, within a year. So she definitely has helped me and our, our revenue has definitely grown and that’s great, but what really was the quote money, the maker, or what really was the return on investment from hiring her and deciding to do that and rising to the position where I had to know that I could pay her, like obviously a livable salary in New York city consistently for a year after having never we’re done.


That was the, the biggest return on that end quote investment is that it pushed me to step it up. And so yes, us growing the business and us growing the revenue has been a huge benefit, but it’s been secondary to who I’ve had to become and what my business needed to do in order to get to that place. And that is really what this is all about. I believe, I believe whenever we make a big decision, whether it’s financial or not. So often we are focused on what the exact return on that investment or that decision will be what’s the exact benefit. And while I don’t think that that’s a bad lens to see it through, I think that it’s slightly narrow because when we widened a little bit and when we look inward, we can recognize that it is those situations in the situations of risk.


And the situations of this has to work in the situations of, I don’t have any, I don’t have a plan B that’s really where we see what we’re made of and, you know, Abby, my sister and hiring her was really what taught me this and really what allowed me to see that it’s, it’s just been such a gift for me to kind of require that next level version of me and require myself to step it up and require myself to be the business owner that is able to have this. And look, I know that it sounds like I was doing something so huge and heroic when people obviously have businesses with hundreds of employees, but being a new business owner and having a redundant, it was a big commitment. And that was really the gift. That was really the takeaway was who I had to and got to become because of this commitment and because of this decision and because I literally put myself in the next game.


And as I thought about that, and as I kind of looked back at the year and thought, Oh my gosh, I remember being so nervous when she quit. I mean, it was so excited, but I was so nervous, which is funny because that’s exactly how so many of my clients feel when they join. My programs is, yeah. 


Congratulations, Ashley, welcome to scale your side hustle. Uh, they say like, I’m so nervous, but I’m so excited, but I’m so nervous, but I’m so excited. And I love that and I get that and that’s exactly how I felt when she I’ll never forget. It was in the Maldives on my honeymoon. And she FaceTimed me and she was like, I just did it. I just gave my notice. That’s a whole nother story because COVID happened like literally the next day. But anyway, I felt so much of that nervous and excitement, newness.


And I always just thought like, you know, I better be able to, to make this happen for her for forever. Now she she’s betting on me and, and I need it. She believes in me and I need to believe in myself and I need to make it happen. And I have never had an issue with it. I’ve never not been able to pay her. I’ve never been stressed about money since she came on nothing. And I’m not saying that to be braggy or to be boastful. But my point is though, maybe before she came on, I didn’t have as much consistency as I do now, or I didn’t have as much of a margin as I do now, or I didn’t have as much profit as I do now. I didn’t have those things. And so, but if I would’ve continued to let that reality dictate my decisions and say, no, Abby, sorry, you can’t, you know, we can’t do this because based on my track record, I don’t have what it takes or this isn’t working.


Then I never would have seen that, Oh my God, I had it in me all along. I just had to say yes and step it up. It was there all along. I just needed that push for whatever reason. I didn’t push myself on my own. And that’s, I think why coaches and mentors and, you know, having these situations are so valuable because they, they literally put you in that situation where you have to make it work. And as I look back on all the similar decisions I’ve made in my journey from my first $5,000, um, you know, commitment to quitting my nine to five job where I had to work for myself and had to make that work to, uh, you know, much larger investments, I’ve done coaching with some of my mentors that have been multiple if I figure investments and every single time, yes, it’s been exciting about how much money it can make me back, but that has only ever been second to who I got to become because I made that decision.


And because I made that commitment and because I had to step it up, if that makes sense. So this has been such a gift of a lesson for me (lesson of 2020). And I’m so grateful to my sister who she’s probably like, um, I didn’t do this on purpose, but I really, you know, cherish her for this because in my mind now I can’t help, but see her as having helped me see a higher version of myself or a more, you know, uh, a version of myself that maybe I couldn’t see. Um, and I think she must’ve believed in that version of me or she wouldn’t quit her job to come do this with me. And so that is now how I’ve kind of like decided to approach when I make these decisions is getting excited about who I am going to become in the process of whatever, whatever kind of transformation I have to undergo, whether it’s a financial decision or whether it’s a personal decision.


I mean, I think that there’s even some element to this when there’s things like getting married, I’m already married, but, um, or, you know, like moving my husband and I moved to Miami or, um, I can only imagine what it’s like when you decide to have a child, uh, that you kind of think like, Oh my gosh, I don’t know if I can do this and then you do it and then you do it. And it’s such an exciting way to live in such an exciting outlet to have, because it continuously reminds you to be tapped into your human potential. The sad part of it, however, is that I do feel like our norm and I feel like has so many of us are taught growing up is that, you know, proof is required to kind of take a risk or at least have some sort of calculated proof so that you can take a calculated risk.


And look, I’m not saying quit your job tomorrow. If you had literally zero income or anything like that. But I am saying that if you are waiting for proof that something works in order to pursue that thing, you have to recognize that you’ll probably never see that proof because you’re going to continue operating how to get there from however you’ve gotten there so far. And so why would things be different? You know, back when I made that first investment in my business, that first $5,000 I had about a week before I had kind of made this declaration to the universe that my business was going to take off in the next year, I was sick of the dabbling. I was sick of the inconsistent income. I was sick of the maybe somehow kind of what, uh, I was sick of it. I was, did not want to spend another year getting to the next holiday season, feeling like nothing had really happened.


So I declared it to the universe. I felt really bold. I started kind of selling a bit more on my dead blog. Um, and I, and I felt like I was ready to receive, like I was ready to receive the more sales, right? Like I was ready to receive the universe being like, we heard you girl, we are ready for you and we are giving it to you, but that didn’t happen. It didn’t happen at all. Um, of course it didn’t happen. Why would it, if I had only been, I mean, yes, I got a little more aggressive about selling, but if I had only continued to do it, the way that I had been doing for the past year, I was going to get those same results. So still in that receiving mode, what I then realized I received was an opportunity to make an investment in my business that actually could help me grow it.


And for so many reasons, one could look at this and say, this is not what you should be receiving. You don’t have the money for this. You don’t have the proof that your business works. You don’t really have a plan. You don’t really have a business model. Why would you foolishly spend money on a credit card that you don’t have? Um, you know, when, when there’s so many answers, you don’t that aren’t there to kind of make you reassure that this is a good decision. And the answer to that is that if I keep spending the way I’ve always spent, if I keep doing things the way I will always be doing them, then I will always stay exactly where I am. And so the universe did deliver the universe, always delivers. It just doesn’t always deliver the way we want it to, but it always delivers in our best interest.


If I didn’t go through those investments, if I didn’t receive all that they had taught me. And if I didn’t have to step it up to then start saying, Hey, now I put myself in a financial situation where I literally don’t have a choice, but to make this work, I probably never would’ve. So the universe heard me. It’s not that the universe didn’t hear me. They heard me. And they said, we know your dreams. We want you to achieve them. This is going to help you do that. And this is going to help you become the person who can do it. So that is my biggest lesson of 2020. My biggest lesson of 2020 is to recognize that every time you put yourself in a situation, particularly if it’s a business investment, but really any big situation to recognize that whatever return you’re expecting to get on that decision or return on that investment specifically, if you’re talking about money is exciting, but secondary only to who you get to become and what you get to discover yourself on about yourself, on your way there.


And I hope that this resonates with you guys, as you start making decisions for year and really pushing yourself to think, how can I do things differently? What decision can I make differently? Who could I become if I put myself in this different situation, that’s different environment, et cetera. And that’s exactly why so many people time and time again, see success in our scalar side hustle program, because they have dabbled with the side hustle idea for, for a while or forever they’re over it. 


And they just are unavailable to not do it. And so when you put yourself in the environment where you have to do it, whether because financial, you have to do it, or because we give you homework and you have to do it, or because you’re kind of like in the vibe with other people where they’re all doing it, it doesn’t matter which one resonates with you. It’s probably all of the above, but you will be in awe of who you become when you’re in that next level. So I hope that this is helpful for you guys. I’m going to go ahead and stop the recording, but this is all to your biggest vision, wishing you the best new year and everything to come.

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