Choosing The Hero's Journey: A Special Thanksgiving Week Episode
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 87
On Thanksgiving week, I like to reflect on the big turning point in my business. On a trip to Barcelona, my business shifted from a small side hustle to a business toward which I dedicated my entire life.
I was at a moment where I couldn’t even hear myself talk about the future anymore because I knew I was doing nothing for it. I had to make some vulnerable, scary decisions for myself and my business. In this episode, I walk through it all! Thanksgiving Week has always been a beautiful reminder of what can happen when you choose to move forward, follow your dreams, and how you can always come out on top.
Tune In To Hear:
- The pivotal moment that I decided to put all of my trust into my side hustle
- How I grew in my business after hitting rock bottom
- How you can choose your Hero’s Journey NOW, even in the most uncertain, painful times
Two Exciting Announcements!
My New Year 2023 Mastermind is open, and there’s only a few spots left! If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, joining my Mastermind is for you. This is a year-long container that is going to help you scale and grow your business! Sign up HERE!
My BLACK FRIDAY SALE has officially started! My VIP days are going to be on sale! We’re hosting VIP days in amazing locations. If you want to get on the waitlist, CLICK HERE!
Hear the Episode
Leah Gervais: Hi everyone. Welcome back to this episode of the Your Biggest Vision Show and happy Thanksgiving week to those of you that are in the United States at the time of this recording. It will be Monday of Thanksgiving week, and I hope you are as excited as I am for the holiday.
Before I dive into the content of today’s episode, I wanted to just make sure that you know that we have a few different opportunities to work with us that start in the new year, one of which is my 2023 Mastermind. It is a year long container.
It is for women, it is for entrepreneurs, and it is for scaling. It is the name that is the name of the game. It is about growth. It is a very incredible, um, experience and I can’t say enough good things about it. We have a few spots left, so if you’re interested at all in that, then go to leahgervais.com/mastermind to apply.
Uh, there’s no strings attached to apply. You can just sort of see if you’d be a good fit. We can have a conversation. And worst case scenario is you saved your spot and decided it wasn’t for you. But that’s better than not applying and losing your spot and losing a potentially amazing opportunity.
The other thing is that if you’re listening to this during Thanksgiving week, then my Black Friday sale has officially started. If you haven’t been following it, you gotta do it. It is so exciting. Basically, I am putting my VIP days on sale this Black Friday, which I’ve never really done, and I’ve unveiled all the different locations that I’m hosting them in a 20, 23 year. And it is a way for you to commit to yourself now what type of game you wanna play in the new year and have fun while doing it.
We are hosting them in some really incredible locations. We have an Nantucket one, we have a Paris one, we have a, uh, Chicago won, and we have a Mexico one. Those are the only ones I’ve unveiled so far, but there will be more to come.
So if you have not seen that, if you’re not on the wait list, definitely get on. If you’re on the wait list, then you get a free call with me where I’m gonna talk to you about what we’re doing in our business in 2023 and how we’re planning for it.
So that should be a lot of fun. You also get first dibs. You know, these are finite things. There’s only, I’m only one person. I can only do so many, so many days. So if you’re interested, then you definitely wanna be on the wait list. And the way it works is you just put down a deposit this Thanksgiving week and then you get to choose what payment plan you wanna do until your day.
You get to create it basically. So you have a lot of freedom, you have a lot of autonomy. It really is about what works best for you. You just pay a deposit and then you can have so much time to pay it off, which to me is like a no brainer.
Why wouldn’t you give yourself a longer runway to pay off something like this and to have lower monthly payments from it? No monthly payment plan penalty, so to speak.
There’s no like tax to it. Um, and you just kind of know that you have that coming and really set yourself up for that. And at this point in my business, like these intensives VIP days, as for the being the coachee, they are like, they are king, queen.
They are the most important thing to me. I mean, I, I do have ongoing coaching Always, but it is that unfocused, uninterrupted, true dedication to what I’m doing, what I wanna do next, and putting myself in the environment that really reminds and inspires me of why I did this to begin with.
Um, it, it, I can’t, I couldn’t run my business without it. So if you’re feeling like that, if you’re kind of in that zone, then one of these is for you. Um, and let me know if you have any questions.
Okay. With that, I wanna talk to you guys from the heart about Thanksgiving week and some of the things that have happened to me in this Thanksgiving week over the past few years, and what I kind of have learned as a pattern from it throughout the last years. And that’s really repeated itself and shown up recently with my own clients. So I know that if they’re going through it, then you listening to it probably are as well.
Um, and so let me just kind of backtrack a little bit. If you don’t know my business story, then you might not know that Thanksgiving week was really kind of the beginning of it all in a sense. There was a Thanksgiving week in 2017, five years ago when I really made the internal decision to be an entrepreneur.
And it’s interesting because I had my business for two years before that and it was just a side hustle at the time. It was something I was doing around my nine to five job. I was blogging, I was just trying to kind of figure it out constantly trying to find new ways to make, to monetize it, to grow it. I was kind of like bargain hunting, shopping for different ways to do it. Um, and nothing ever really clicked.
And I never really made any real money. Like, you know, I made a few hundred bucks here and there, and then when it was that Thanksgiving week trip in Barcelona, that’s when I had that internal shift, that decision that I was done with the half in, half out dabbling.
Maybe I’ll do this, maybe I won’t. I will do this only if there’s proof type mindset and just dedicated everything to it. All my time, money, resources no longer gave myself an option to not be successful.
And it’s so funny that it was an internal decision. It’s always the internal decision that makes the difference. It wasn’t a new strategy, right? I had had my business for two years at that point. It’s not like I just started and it went a certain way. It wasn’t a new strategy, it wasn’t a new offering, it wasn’t a new funnel, it wasn’t a new pricing model. It wasn’t even a new coach or anything like that.
It was the decision. It was me. It was me just declaring and saying, there’s no longer an option for this not to work and I’m gonna give it my all. And that was a life changing trip for me on many levels because it happened in Spain.
And I had spent that trip in Spain in two different locations. The first was in the Canary Islands. And the reason I was in the Canary Islands is because my dad, uh, my dad did a trans-Atlantic sale throughout the Atlantic Ocean. He literally sailed from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia.
And so I went to see him off. I went to kind of say goodbye to him and cheer him on in this race. I wanted to be there for him. He was always there for me. And that was one of the last times I ever saw him, which is heartbreaking and poetic to think about.
But there was something so inspiring to me that even at the age of 56, he was still trying to have as much adventure in his life as possible and, and find ways to do things out of the box and set his business up in a way where he could leave for three weeks without service to go on this international sailing trip.
So I was so inspired by him. And after we left him in the Canary Islands, I then went to Barcelona with my then boyfriend, now husband. And that is when I first made a sale from my now seven figure business.
But at the time it was just a blog that I made, wow, traveling. And there was something about this experience of making money while I was traveling that just clicked things for me. And the sale was only $97. It wasn’t like I made enough to quit my job or enough to live off of or enough to even really celebrate, frankly.
But it wasn’t about the money, it was the experience and the way that my perspective shifted from that and me realizing that if I’m going to stay in corporate America, or I’m gonna stay in a nine to five job, or if I’m gonna go to law school, which is, you know, what I had thought I would do for a long time, I will never really have this experience.
I will always be working to have time off, or I will be working, or I’ll be traveling just when my boss approves it, or during pto.
Now, make no mistake, I work more now, maybe not now, now that I have a son. But over the years that followed, I worked definitely more on my own business than I did at a nine to five job. It’s not like my work diminished or decreased or that I just gotta sit around all the time.
I think having your own business is harder than having a nine to five. I actually don’t think that’s disputable, but it was about freedom and building my own bottom line instead of someone else’s bottom line that changed my perspective entirely. And so on that trip, during that Thanksgiving week, I pledged to the universe, to myself, to God, to Barcelona, that I would give it my all for one more year.
I would give that following 2018, everything I had to learn as much about digital marketing as I could to learn how to grow my blog, to learn about pricing monetization, how sales works, what goes into building a brand, building a business. And I would have the option to quit my nine to five, which in my mind meant I would be making enough money where I could quit and still, you know, support myself if need be.
So that was my goal, to do it in one year.
And I, and I promised myself that by the time the next Thanksgiving week hit, I would be in that position now without getting two in the weeds of the story. Uh, many of you know that about three months after that, so three months into my year long quest to find success and work for myself and find more freedom than ever before I lost my dad.
My dad died suddenly out of the blue, tragically horrifically shockingly. And that started a chapter of immense grief and heaviness and trauma and loss. And I’m not gonna talk too much about it even now. I can feel the heaviness in my body as I kind of recount it, but I do wanna share it because I remember thinking, and I feel like anyone would not blame me for have that thought thinking, this is not my year to quit my job.
This is not my year to grow a business. This is not my year to give it my all to something. I can barely function. I can barely get out of bed. I’m lucky if I can brush my teeth.
I, I can’t even wrap my mind around the fact that I’m never gonna see my dad again, let alone try to put myself in one of the most vulnerable positions a human can, which is complete exposure and just vulnerability in building their own business, completely exposing themselves, putting themselves out there, giving all of their ideas to the world, sharing what they really wanna do, and being at risk of that being criticized, rejected, failed.
But I didn’t, and I’m not trying to say that that was easy or that I’m a hero for doing that, but I, I just chose a different way. And I think that we all, that’s kind of what this episode is about, is recognizing that we get to choose those different ways every day in ways big and small. And I’ll get more into that in a second.
But to kind of bring the story full circle, even though I very much thought that after my dad passed, quitting my job, growing my business, getting myself to a place where I was actually able to resign was further away than ever.
I changed that narrative. I turned that around. And I grew my business extremely quickly in the six months that followed. And I resigned in the fall, which was in about, which was like six months sooner than I thought I would.
Almost a little, a little less. And I think that that just goes to show the power of the human spirit when you feel almost like you have no other choice. And I don’t mean that in sort of, I know that that sounds dramatic, but that is sort of where my mind was at the time.
I mean, I was so heartbroken by what happened and so exposed to the fragility of life that I didn’t feel like I had another option. I did not feel like I could continue showing up at a job that was a bottom lo a dead end for me.
It’s not, I had a good job. I have nothing bad to say about the job. I just knew that I wanted something different. I was selling myself short by not doing it. I was selling my life short by continuing to spend time doing something that I really wasn’t what I thought I could do or what I wanted to do.
And by the next Thanksgiving week, the following Thanksgiving week, I had been, I, I was about 10 days self-employed . So I was about 10 days into my newly found self-employment. I had quit my job, I had done it. And in some ways it was, you know, an awful Thanksgiving week. It was the first Thanksgiving week without my dad. It was just my sister and I.
I remember we went and did a workout and cried, honestly. So that was kind of a dark Thanksgiving week, but at least I had done it. At least I hadn’t abandoned myself. At least I had shown up for myself.
And I think that can be a very real tension in the holiday season for entrepreneurs or for people trying to be entrepreneurs if they see this another, another year go by wondering why they didn’t play a bigger game this year. Or wonder why they didn’t take more risks this year.
Or wondering why they didn’t actually do what they said they were going to do this year. And though I was in one of the saddest parts of my life at the time, I knew that I could say that I did those things, which was new for me because it had followed years of me just having the same experience year and year and time and time again.
So Thanksgiving week from those two experiences were, has always been a reflective time because in both of those moments, it helped me realize that I chose the path of entrepreneurship before I knew my dad was going to pass. I chose the hero’s journey before I had hit rock bottom.
Does that make sense? And I think sometimes we feel like you have to have a rock bottom before you can decide to elevate and you don’t. And here’s what that looks like in practice.
Are you on your own hero’s journey? And for that, that might look like a different phase no matter where you’re at. Are you pursuing something? Have you said yes to something? Are you trying to launch your business?
Are you trying to get a first client? Are you trying to make your first five figure month? Are you trying to get a new sale? Are you trying to hire a new team member? Are you creating a new platform? Are you on that journey? And is it very hard?
And are you starting to wonder why am I doing this to myself? You might not consciously wonder that, right? But subconsciously there might be something in the back of your mind that’s like, geez, this is rough. Why did I need to do this when my business was working just fine before I decided to launch this new branch of it?
Or why did I need to do this when I was making a good salary at my nine to five? And that would’ve continued to serve me. Or why did I decide to do this when I don’t actually have to work?
Maybe your partner makes enough to support you and you could just be staying at home maybe with your child or your kids or whatever. Why? Why am I putting myself through this pain, this challenge, this stress, this heartache, this risk?
And the reality is no one’s making you do it. And here’s also the reality. Not everyone should do it.
But if you chose to do it without anyone making you, without even needing to, but because you wanted to see if you could and you wanted to find that grit, you chose the hero’s journey.
You didn’t have to create your success story from a sob story. You know what I mean? You didn’t have to hit rock bottom to go, well, there’s nowhere to go but up.
And then you go up, up, up and up. No things were already good and you chose them to be great. And sometimes that’s an even harder position to be in than hitting the rock bottom and having no choice but to climb up.
And I almost experienced both, right? I chose the hero’s journey before I knew my dad was gonna pass.
I chose to go all in. I chose to go into debt. That was part of what happened to me after I made that decision in Barcelona.
I chose to go into debt. I chose to create a platform where I was subject to being ridiculed. I chose to put myself out there in front of all the people from high school and college that watched my stories and follow me and never say a word to me and have gossiped about me behind my back.
And they still do. By the way, that still happens. I don’t know if they gossip about me cause I don’t care anymore.
But there’s still people that follow me that I haven’t talked to in 10 plus years. And it just is what it is that still happens. So I chose to do these vulnerable things. I chose to put myself in a risky situation.
I chose to go into debt. I chose to leave my nine to five job that was secure and stable and paid me and had benefits and chose to do the scary thing. I chose to do that all before my dad passed away.
Now when my dad passed away, I will say it did propel me even farther because it just made me think, wow, this is absolutely not an option. This, even if before I could convince myself, well your nine to five, not that bad. It wasn’t that bad. But life is just way too short.
So I know what both are like and I know how it can feel to have nowhere to go but up. And that’s almost liberating some of the time.
But I also know how hard it can feel when you don’t know if you really need to put yourself through this.
But you are, and it hurts and it’s hard. And you are having your feelings hurt and you are losing sleep about the money. And you are worried about what people are saying about you. And you are worried about failure.
And maybe you’re even failing. I mean, failure is a subjective definition, but maybe you had a launch that didn’t work.
Maybe you’ve had 15 sales calls and not one person said No. Why are you doing this to yourself? Is this worth it? Is this really what you want? Why is it easier for others than you? It’s not. But re choose that journey.
Re choose the path less traveled. Re-choose that un paved path, the path, the road less traveled, re choose your highest path, your highest destiny, your highest journey.
It all very poetically comes together. That last Thanksgiving week a year ago, the way I spent Thanksgiving week was giving birth to my son.
My first, my first child, unexpectedly. He came 10 days early. I think I’m gonna share, maybe I did a whole podcast on the story. Maybe I’ll share it again.
But, um, what a metaphor, right? For being on a journey that you know is gonna be beautiful.
And that was really exciting at first. And I think this is how business is for a lot of people.
It is so exciting in the early days, the vision, the dream, the other side, the sense of possibility is exhilarating. That honeymoon phase, I could work for myself. I did not have to commute. I did not have to go into a nine to five job every day. I could have an income with no ceiling.
I could make my own schedule, I could create from my heart. I could actually help people. Instead of doing a job that has no impact on the world at all, which is how a lot of people feel.
You can, you start to see other people doing it, you start to realize you could do it. You start to realize you want to do it. You start to put things into motion.
It’s very exciting. A little hard but exciting. Very similar to family planning, pregnancy, getting ready to welcome a child into your world. It’s exciting, it’s new. It’s a dream.
Probably something you knew you wanted for a lot of your life if you know, if not a few years. And then you give birth and then you are in labor.
And I know everyone’s experience is different, but I think pretty universally it is hard.
They’d call it labor for a reason. It’s painful. It doesn’t feel natural to me. It did not, which surprised me because it’s the most natural thing in the world.
And I was prepared for it to be painful, but I didn’t think it would feel so wrong if that makes sense. I didn’t feel like I would feel like I was being so injured.
Um, and I don’t know about y’all, but I questioned in the middle of birth, I was like, I don’t know if I can do this as if I have a choice, right? And so you’re in it and it hurts and it’s painful and it’s messy.
And you question, what did I do? What have I done? Was this the right move? Can I really handle this? Do I have the can? Can I do this? Am I strong enough? Why do I think I could do this?
Can I really handle this? Just like when you’re going through the thick of business, should I really have put myself in this situation?
Was this the right choice for me? Did I jump the gun ? It’s funny thinking about all these things as you’re in labor. Did I really have the ability to do this?
But you keep pushing, you keep pushing cuz you’re in it, you’re in it. You’ve decided you can’t turn back when you’re giving birth. You literally can’t. When you’re in business and you’ve made that decision, you emotionally can’t, you’ve put up those boundaries where there is not a turning back option or there shouldn’t be otherwise the decision hasn’t really been made. You keep going, you keep going, it hurts, you let it, it’s hard.
You let it, you can do hard things, you can tolerate pain and then it’s beautiful. And then you have a baby and then you have birth something new into your business or into your life, and then you have created something out of nothing.
And then you have created something that is completely and entirely yours. And then you take the baby home and you go through sleepless nights and you have to figure out how to parent and you have to figure how to manage it. Same thing happens in business.
You have the success and it feels Really good and then you have to deliver on it or then you have to sustain it or then you have to deal with the challenges that come with it, right? It’s not all rosy and that’s okay, but re choose that path every time.
And when you are having the moments of why aren’t I making as much as I thought I should? Why isn’t this as easy as I think it should be? Why isn’t it? Is it as easy as it looks to be for other people, never compare yourself? Obviously that’s rule number one.
But we’re all human and you will, why am I continuing to do this? It’s because you chose to be proud of that trait. Not everyone will choose to. Not everyone will do it.
Even people listening to this podcast, I love you, I say this with love, but there are plenty of people that will listen to this, um, agree with me and still not, still not make the decision and still not move forward. And that’s okay. Not everyone should make the decision.
But be honest with yourself. Are things not happening because you have not decided or are things not happening because you haven’t even tried?
And this isn’t meant to shame you, but just to bring you back into your power. You chose to go down this path. You chose entrepreneurship, you knew it was gonna be hard and surprise it is. And you re-choose that time and time again.
So I hope that this helps whatever birth you’re in the middle of, whether it’s actually a baby, excuse me, or it’s a launch or it’s the brand new start of your business or it’s uh, you getting to your first seven figure year.
Y’all, I’ve never had so much rejection in my life as I did when I hit my first seven figure sales year .
And I wanna really reiterate that. I think we think that the further along you get, the more yeses you get. Yes, the more yeses you get because you get 15 times more knows, right?
So stay in it re-choose it. Know that you’ve had no other way. And if you really, really don’t wanna stay in it and don’t wanna have it, and you do wanna have it another way, that’s okay, but recognize that you’re choosing that you don’t wanna do this, that’s okay too. Stay out of the passenger seat.
Stop saying, why isn’t this happening to me? Why is this so hard for me? What am I doing wrong? No, that is a defeats mindset. Either you’re in it or you’re not.
And if you’re in it, it’s hard and it gets to be hard and you can do it anyway. And I hope that you use this energy as we go into the new year to think about what decisions you can make to celebrate that choice, to rejoice in that choice, to help catalyze that choice and put some gasoline on it and really light it on fire.
Whether that means you do launch something new or you hire someone to help you in a different way or you bring on a new team member or you just start treating yourself a bit differently. That choice is something to be celebrated all the time because not a lot of people will choose it and it is not an easy choice to make.
And with the holiday season, I hope that you both can bring out something you’ve been working on for the last year and sort of birth it and then also
Think about what you next want to cook up. Because if you’re an entrepreneur, you know, you know the deal. You’re through and through, you are here for growth and it’s very, very hard to sit still and that’s okay.
So hopefully with this mindset, it gives you some inspiration and clarity about what you wanna do to move forward next.
All right everyone, check out our Black Friday sale. If you haven’t already, I’d love to do a VIP day with you if that’s something you’re interested in. And if you feel like that is something you’re called to do, um, especially if you have something you really want to plan out to birth, dare I say, that is the place to do it.
Um, let me know if you have any questions and a happy, happy Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving week. Sending lots of love to you all. Bye.
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