7 Years Of Business
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 96

This March marks 7 WHOLE YEARS since I first bought my domain, and decided to take my life in a different direction. 

It’s been quite the journey. I am NOT an overnight success story, but I have 7 years of business tips under my belt.

Have you just begun your business, and you’re having trouble comparing yourself to other online business owners? 

Are you looking to start a business, but don’t know where to begin and don’t know what the future will look like? 

Maybe you’ve stopped dreaming for yourself? 

Or have you had your business for a few years now and you’re feeling stagnant, not seeing the numbers you want? Then this episode is for you! 

Today, I’ll be sharing 7 success tips that I’ve learned over the past 7 years in business. Tune in to hear: 

  • The struggles I had to go through with my business to get to where I am today. 

  • The changes I made to my finances when I began my business. 

  • Why you can’t doubt yourself as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re first beginning. 

I hope this episode gave you a good insight on all the possibilities of where your business can go!

If you want more inside business secrets, then head over to my Seven-Figure Secrets Podcast! There, we discuss what goes on behind the scenes of running a seven figure business, and I give you the scoop on how to make it happen for you. 

Want to be coached by Leah directly? Head to her waitlist to be the first to know when spots open up. Leahgervais.com/waitlist

This March marks 7 WHOLE YEARS since I decided to take my life in a different direction. Tune in to hear the best tips after 7 years of business!

Hear the Episode

Episode Transcription

All right, everyone, welcome back to the show, Leah here. And today I am touching base with where I’ve been over the past seven years of business. 

So this March marks seven years since I bought the very first domain for this business. At the time, it was called Urban 20 something.com, and it started as a blog chronicling my quarter life crisis here in the Big Apple. As I decided what to do when I turned down my law school applications and quit my job as a paralegal and had no idea what to do. Instead, all I knew is I still wanted to have a big epic career. 

I still wanted to be successful. I still wanted to make a good amount of money. I still wanted all the things that I thought being a lawyer would do for me, but I had realized they were not going to do for me or not do it for me in the way that I wanted.

And I had no idea how I was going to do this. So I started a blog to simply journal in public about my, my, my quest to find this, because I knew I couldn’t be alone. I really wanted to connect with other millennials, 20 something, 20 somethings, who knew that they weren’t going to go down the path they always had imagined themselves on.

And that’s really how this was born. And over the past seven years of business, so much has changed. I mean, truly my dreams have come true in the most spectacular of ways because I bought that domain seven years ago. I was able to quit my nine to five job and given my resignation and work for myself, which I’ve done for nearly five years of business now, I, uh, was able to hire my sister to work with me full-time. And now I have a team of five all women.

Uh, yeah, we have a team of an all women team behind me, which is so rewarding and, and such a gift, and I’m so grateful for that. I got engaged, I got married. I moved to Miami.

 I got pregnant, I moved back to New York. I became a mom. I stopped working full-time. 

And I am on the cusp of another seven figure sales year, but this time as a mom and only working three days a week. 

So truly every part about my life and the way it looks is because I started seven years ago, and it may be easy to look at my life now and feel like it was this sort of overnight success story because seven years ago I was making less in a year than I make in a month now. I was making around $45,000 a year when I started. I also was struggling.

I was confused. And even during my first, uh, initial, you know, attempts in these years of business, it didn’t really take off. And now I live across the street from Central Park. I’m able to work part-time. Our business is about to hit seven figures once again, which is ridiculous. And all of that happened because of my business. 

But I am not an overnight success story. In fact, it took me a good two years of business to actually see over a thousand dollars in sales in a single month. So it is not something that happened quickly. It’s something that happened in a very, in a way that I’m very grateful for. But it is not something that just snapped my fingers. And here I am.

So today, and with this episode, I wanted to pull out the seven biggest success tips in chronological order that I learned along the way, along my journey and in, um, you know, tandem with the lessons I was learning as I went. 

So we’re gonna start with lesson one, which brings us to the day, the actual day, seven years ago that I bought this domain. It was very early in March, and I had saved up $50 around my job as a paralegal to have enough money to wake up one morning and buy the domain and buy, excuse me, for the noise.

 I needed a bit of a tissue and bought a $50 ebook on how to start a WordPress site. So I had saved up for about three weeks for the $50 here, which is ludicrous looking back. But at the time, I didn’t have much money. I had no savings, I had no nothing to fall back on at all.

So really all I had was the cash in my checking account, and I needed to save up a little while before I could get that. So I did, I bought that domain. And by the first day, or by the first week, I had three email subscribers on my blog, me, my mom, and my husband , who was then my boyfriend. 

So I share this part of the story for several reasons. One, it’s a reminder that no matter where you are, we all, every single successful person you look up to right now started there too. So it is very easy to compare ourselves to other people who we have who have what we think we want or who are where we want to go.

 But we have to remember that they once were where we are. And as long as we keep going and not get too much into comparison about someone else’s point A to your point A or someone else’s, point Z to your point A, that is what is really important here.

We all start at zero. We all start at zero, zero subscribers, zero clue what we’re doing. And for most of us, zero money, I don’t know about you guys, but I didn’t have a trust fund funding my business when I started it. 

But the lesson here that I really want to emphasize is to start before you’re fully ready. I can’t emphasize this enough because if you hear my story, you can recognize that what I do now, coaching people, hosting masterminds, hosting retreats, hosting v i p days, helping my clients get to six figures, seven figures. One of my clients got to seven figures in her first years of business last year.

That is not something I knew I was capable of doing when I started. I did not have the vision when I bought that blog domain seven years ago to create this coaching business. I had no idea that I would become who I am today or that I’d be able to do what I do today, or that I’d be such a great coach the way I am today. I really only wanted to have something that was my own and have something that helped me relate to other people who wanted to do something more with their life, which frankly is largely still who I support. 

But if I would’ve waited until I had the vision, everything perfect, everything about WordPress that I needed to know, I’d still be in that $45,000 a year paralegal job. 

So that’s tip one. If you have an inkling towards something, if you are craving something, I can’t tell you how one of the, the saddest parts of my job is how many people I talk to that want to move forward with a business or want to move forward.

It’s starting something or going bigger with something and they talk themselves out of it, and then they come back six months, 12 months later wishing they had done something sooner because they’re not really any further than they were and they’re kicking themselves over it. Money is something you can always get back. Time is the single thing you can’t. 

So the second tip I wanna give is taken from around two years later into my journey when nothing had really happened. So remember I mentioned that I had two years of business of stagnation. I had two years of business of why isn’t this working? I’m not making any money. Clearly everyone knows something. I don’t know. Um, I felt like I was working all the time. 

And what I had to realize is that I wasn’t, I was not hustling to my fullest ability. I was not fully believing in myself.

So after two years of business, I had to make a deal with myself. I gave a little bit, a little ultimatum to myself. I promised myself that I would truly start to go all in. And I would do that for one year. I wouldn’t get reactive. If things were hard for a month or I didn’t get results for a month, I wouldn’t quit. I would continue going all in for one year. 

And if after that year I still wasn’t able to fully live on the salary from my business, I would close it because at that point it was just becoming an expensive side piece. So that was my choice. Go all in or end. So what did going all in look like for me? Well, a few things. One, it completely transformed how I spent my time. I stopped traveling on the weekends. I stopped going out after work.

I stopped, um, doing things. I started saying yeah or no to a lot more things so that I could work on my business, including eating lunch at work. I would then take sales calls in, in the supply closet. I would do webinars in the bathroom. I’m not even kidding some of the time.

 I also changed my spending. I ended up going into credit card debt to fund my business. I’ve been very open about that. It was extraordinarily uncomfortable for me, but it was my only choice. I didn’t have, I didn’t have any savings. I didn’t have a trust fund. I didn’t have a business loan. I didn’t know how to do this on my own. 

So I completely, by going all in, put all my cards on the table by sacrificing a great deal of my own time and some sleep as well as my own finances to make this work because I wanted to know that if I looked back and it didn’t work, I will have known that I gave it everything.

So my, my question for you, my lesson here is to go all in or don’t bother. And if you were to stop right now, let’s say if things aren’t going the way you want them to, could you honestly look at what you’ve done and say, I truly gave it my all? 

Or is that not entirely the truth? Did you stop yourself at certain places? Did you stop yourself when it got uncomfortable? Did you stop yourself when people were starting to get judgmental of what you were doing? Did you stop yourself when you got tired? Did you stop yourself when you wanted to say yes to other things that sounded easier, more fun and procrastinating on your business? Felt like the more comfortable thing to do? 

And I know that these might be uncomfortable questions to ask, but it’s just about getting honest with yourself. And truly it’s about coming back to a powerful place.

Because when you can say, Hey, you know what, I did stop myself and that’s why I didn’t work. That’s a hell of a lot more powerful than I don’t know why it’s not working. Poor me. I’m gonna throw a pity party. I must just not have what it takes. 

Why didn’t this work for me? Why did it work for everyone else? We have no time for that. We want you to be in the position of this is why my results are or aren’t the way they are. I know this because I’ve made these decisions with my time, with my money, with my energy, and with my focus. If I made different decisions, things could look different.

 Am I willing? Am I going to make different decisions? So that’s tip two. Go all in or don’t bother. After I went all in, I was stunned at how differently things changed.

Remember, I had given myself one year to go all in and see if I could do this and if I could make a livable salary on my own. And by eight months into that year, I was handing in my resignation. This completely shocked me because I had spent two years of business working on it. 

It wasn’t until I put all those cards on the table that things started happening in the most spectacular of ways. I started making more money from my business than I was at my nine to five job. I hit my first five figure month, I quit my job. Um, you know, everything that I was dreaming had started to come true.

 And you know what else I realized during this time, even though a lot of me going quote all in was very practical things, spending time, spending money, playing a bigger game with my strategies, the majority of it was in my mind.

And I started recognizing that so many of the things I had spent time worrying about over the past two years of business, worrying about imposter syndrome, worrying about the disadvantages I had in entrepreneurship because I was a petite woman, worrying about the lack of money that I had, worrying about debt, worrying about how I didn’t have experience marketing, how I didn’t have experience in sales, worrying about how things weren’t working for me.

 So I must not know as much about online business, all of those things that had been on repeat in my mind for two years. I suddenly didn’t have time to think about them anymore. I literally did not have time because I had this complete, you know, deadline that I had to meet one of my amazing clients. Uh, her business was something that she tried to get going for about two years of business before she had her daughter.

And she just couldn’t get it going. She just couldn’t get it going cuz she was afraid of her. It’s kind of complicated. But she felt like an imposter teaching on the thing that she teaches on.

 And then when her daughter was born, she made a promise to herself that she wouldn’t go back to work after her maternity leave was up. And so suddenly that fear of being an imposter, teaching the thing that she didn’t feel like she was the most qualified to teach on, she didn’t have time for it anymore. She no longer thought about it. 

And by the way, she’s very qualified. I’m not like, I’m not a fan of the fake it till you make it my mindset, but I am a fan of getting rid of your own lies that are holding you back. So this blew my mind and I started recognizing the true power of my mind because all of those things felt like fact up until this point.

The fact was I didn’t have money in my bank account. The fact was, I am a petite short woman. And the fact is that there’s far fewer successful female entrepreneurs than there are male. Unfortunately, the fact is, I don’t have experience in marketing. The fact is, I didn’t get an M B A or go to school for sales or anything like that. 

Those were all facts. They still are. They just no longer stopped me because my mind decided. So the power of your mind is more powerful than anything else. And that’s takeaway number three. Takeaway number four is where we get a bit more technical.

 So if you’re following along with my story, you know that after I really started buckling down, getting into the power of my mind, going all in and promising to myself that I would make this work, other things started cascading and skyrocketing.

I then hit my first six figure year. I started offering v i p days. I got married. I gotta travel the world for my business. I gotta go to Italy, I gotta go to Israel, I gotta go to Bermuda. I mean, things were just exploding. And it was like I, it was like I wasn’t to, couldn’t even recognize my own life, which is what I love when I support my clients. 

And having those moments too, where they’re like, holy cow, I cannot believe this is me. That can be you. And so at that point, I was ready to start scaling my business. I had understood how to sell. I had understood what people benefited from with me. 

Obviously I wasn’t as good of a coach as I am now, but I was still very good and people were seeing results and I was really starting to get into the hang of, uh, who I could help, how I could help them, and the sales process that went with it, and then the delivery after the fact.

So I needed to start to scale. Now, I just wanna give this tip because I think it’s something that a lot of business owners get very, uh, they don’t know which way’s up at this point where they end up feeling like they do have some success, but they’re not sure where to scale. And my tip is to scale strategically. 

So if you are in a place where you know you want your income to grow, maybe you have no more hours left in the day because you’re working to the bone, or maybe you know you wanna help more people, but you don’t have the capacity to, or maybe you’re still not making as much as you want, even though you’re working a lot, you’re ready to scale. 

So I work with my clients to scale in one of three methods. I’ve actually done all three. You can totally do all three and you should, but you should do one at a time.

And I just wanna make sure that you know how important it’s to have a strategy to scale. Otherwise, it’s very easy to stay in the hamster wheel forever. And scaling comes with saying no, which is probably the hardest part. But I ended up having to lean into that.

 And sure enough, my business started exceeding six figures, and I went from $10,000 a month to $50,000 a month in around 18 months. And shortly thereafter, I had my first six figure month after that. Uh, so to be clear, the takeaway here is to understand how to scale.

 After that, I realized that my business had become what I always had dreamed of, right? I was working with amazing clients, I worked for myself. I could work from anywhere in the world. I felt very free. I truly felt lit up by what I was doing. My bank account had never looked better.

So many fun things were happening. I also started to realize though, that I got very busy, had a to-do list every day. I had a lot of people demanding things of me. I had quite a roster of clients at that point. I also was starting to build a team. I was also getting married at that moment. 

And I started realizing that I was in, I was sort of becoming an employee of my own business where I was checking things off a to-do list. And that visionary part of me that was so in awe of what was possible in the beginning, she wasn’t as loud anymore. Not because she wasn’t there, but because I didn’t have as much time for her. In the beginning, my job was really just to vision what more could happen for me and to visualize what more could happen with my life.

But as that stuff started to actualize, which was wonderful, a lot of my time and energy was spent executing on what I had built and what I had set out to do, and less time visualizing what more I could do or what the big picture was. 

This brings me to lesson number five, which is never stop dreaming big for yourself. And this is harder than it sounds. Might sound easy, of course, we all want big things for ourselves. But are you still asking for as much out of life as maybe you once did or as you did when you started your business? Or as you have in the past? 

We all get busy. Sometimes we even get jaded. We believe that things can’t happen for us. It’s not meant for us, it’s not right for us. And that is doing yourself a disservice. If you are not consistently nurturing that vision, if you don’t have a coach to hold that space for you or you don’t have time, set aside regularly to do so, or you’re overly busy, then that is a sign that your vision is not going to flourish to the extent that I could at the CO because of busyness.

So I really had to start pushing myself during this time to continue visualizing and asking for more for myself. For me, that looked like hiring my own sister full-time. She quit her nine to five job to work with me, which was a huge blessing and very exciting. 

That looked like booking a trip to Paris to celebrate these years of business, hitting seven figures that looked like starting to host v i p retreats in Hollywood, in New York, in Miami, and really bringing my business’s vision to life rather than just being a girl with the to-do list behind the computer. The sixth step in my journey.

 And the takeaway from this is to then use money to become a tool. So I started realizing that I had so many financial goals around what I wanted to do, what I wanted to hit, how much I wanted to make. And I really started realizing that I, somewhere along the lines had lost sight of why I wanted to make that money or what that money could do for me.

And this is very common if you’re an online entrepreneur, because we are flooded with different success stories of people making $200,000 in a day or you know, 500 and their first, you know, know, quarter of business or whatever. And it’s very easy to think that we need to be part of that and that we need to get caught up in that.

 And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make those large amounts of money, but the money itself should never be the goal. It’s what you want to do with the money. So I started thinking about my money differently as I did reach seven figures in sales. And as my numbers grew and grew and grew and this looked like motherhood for me. 

So it looked like I was getting to use the money that I made when I hit seven figures for a night nurse, which was life changing .

It also allowed me to open an investment account for my son before he was born, which was a huge honor and something I felt so incredibly proud to be able to do. It looked like I was funding my own maternity leave, which was not something I believed I probably could have done when I was at nine to five. All the things that I thought I couldn’t do when I was at nine to five, I’ve done, I’ve paid for my own health insurance, I’ve paid for my own retirement savings, and I’ve paid for my own maternity leave. 

That’s because of the money I’ve made and that’s the tool that I’ve used it for. My final takeaway, my final tip is to experience a sky is the limit business and to really get to a limitless place. Now this is about getting to what I call a tipping point in these years of  business where in the beginning you’re sort of doing, doing, doing, and you’re hoping for a result here and there.

And it can feel very frustrating because the amount that you’re doing is not equal to how much outcome you’re getting. You’re wanting to get a lot more than you are. It’s frustrating, it’s totally normal. At some point, things start to feel a bit more even if you do than you get. If you do, then you get, you eventually reach a tipping point, which is what I believe I’m achieving. 

That feels like you do a little and then you get, get, get, get. And it’s this beautiful domino effect that follows your effort because of how much effort you’ve put in all that time and all of the infrastructure and relationships and proof and clients and everything else you’ve built with it. My tip for you is to not give up until you get to that point. A very small percentage of people actually do.

And it’s not because they can’t, it’s because they mentally can’t. It’s because they can’t sit with how uncomfortable it is or how nerve-wracking it is, or how risky it feels, or how vulnerable it is till they see the other side. But it is so beautifully worth it. 

And that is my final tip is to stay with it, enjoy the ride, and know that there is a tipping point waiting for you. The sky is a limited business. Over the past year, I have sold, I don’t know, over 10, 50 to $75,000 packages individually. 

And they’ve all come from different places that I have set up over the past seven years of business. That is what this tipping point feels like to me.

 So I hope that this episode, this very condensed version of the past seven years of business, my life, gave youSome insight into what I believe has been the most helpful things for me to learn. So much discomfort that I’ve sat through and that I still sit through from time to time how worth it it’s been and how worth it it will be for you too. Don’t give up. Keep holding onto your vision. 

All right everyone, I’ll talk to you soon.

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