For years, I have said these six words over and over again. In my head while getting ready in the mornings, out loud to myself during my morning commute, and written over and over again in my journal. It was the affirmation I had on repeat, always.
Before we go any further, let me back up and tell you what happened in 2018. In the spring of 2018, I was overwhelmed with the idea of starting my own business focused on self care and mental health. This business was quite literally all I could think about. I would daydream all day about a new found love of mine; IOME (it's an I Owe Me instead of an I Owe You). The focus is to offering Guilt Free Self Care by providing discounted mental health care and partnering with local businesses to provide discounted self care services and products. After this seed was planted, I did what every rational person would do... I dropped everything else and focused entirely on developing this new business. IOME was officially launched in September of 2018.
It was a dream come true! I was proud. Actually, I was damn proud of what I had accomplished by just getting it started. In the interim, I found myself impacting many people; providing them accountability to their self care and mental health care. I was connecting several local business owners by partnering and creating a supportive environment. It was great, but as good as it was, these feel good feelings didn’t exactly pay the mortgage. Plus, I still had this crazy affirmation of “I am a six-figure woman” looming in the background and sneaking its scary ugly head around the corner all the time. I’d look at my numbers and think to myself, “How in the heck am I supposed to get to a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) like this?! I’d have to have a million members!"... Okay, so I tend to exaggerate a bit but it still seemed nearly impossible.
Fast forward to 2019. It was good, but not great. IOME was profitable, in fact, after I looked at the numbers in December of that year, I was able to pay myself a net income of $10,000. At first, I was a little humiliated because goodness… I worked my butt off all year for only ten k. But at second glance, I was proud that in my first full year of business I was profitable.
Then that BHAG kept stirring up and creeping into the front and center of my attention. I tried to ignore it but it was relentless. Just like my two-year-old demanding a snack in the middle of making dinner- there was no tuning it out. I would try to compromise and say, "Okay, the goal will be to gross six figures this year, that’ll be good enough." And then the BHAG would say nope, that’s not big enough. That’s not hairy and scary enough. It needs to be that you netted a six-figure income. So, just like I tend to do with my relentless two-year-old, I caved. I made the decision that 2020 was the year I would be a six-figure woman. Gulp.
The first few months this BHAG was making me physically ill every time I would think about it. My stomach would turn, my heart would race, and my mind would come up with the million reasons why this would not happen (again with the exaggeration). But instead of succumbing to all these fears, I did just like my parents raised me to do; I put my head down and kept working hard. In the end I knew if I didn’t achieve this goal, at least I knew I tried my absolute hardest and I would be proud of that!
It wasn’t until mid-September of 2020 that I started looking deeper into my tracking system and realized this goal of earning six figures maybe... sorta… kinda… just might… happen? I crunched the numbers over and over, “Did I put an extra zero in somewhere?” Nope.
I was speechless. Not only was I shocked, but I also didn’t want to jinx it. Ridiculous, I know. I sat with this overwhelming feeling for a few weeks before I told anyone, just to be sure. Then a few weeks after projecting my numbers, I realized that my BHAG came true!
I AM A SIX FIGURE WOMAN!
Please hear my heart: I do not share this to brag or boast. I share this because I was the one several years ago that would read stories like this and be inspired, be encouraged, and be motivated. My hope and prayer is that you will be inspired to take action, be encouraged to create a BHAG, and be motivated to put your head down and do the work.
To be honest, I contemplated even sharing this with you because I didn’t want to come off as arrogant, I didn’t want anyone to think that I’m only in this for the money. Because I promise you I am not. I am, however, motivated by financial freedom and being debt-free and having emergency savings, and being able to pay for my kids' college. I am, however, motivated to impact thousands of men and women, to support local businesses, create a community of like-minded individuals and to create more mental health awareness. I am, however, motivated to set an example to my young daughters that they too, can have a happy work-life harmony. I am, however, motivated to have freedom in my schedule, to attend my daughter's kindergarten school activities, to have time to exercise daily and to still enjoy our hobbies on a regular basis. These are the things that motivate me, not just the numbers or money.
In 2019 my net income was $10,000. In 2020 my net income is over $100,000. Even as I write this, I am getting goosebumps. I can promise you this BHAG didn’t come true just because of luck or being in the right place at the right time. I was intentional, I made a plan, I controlled what I could control, and I made it happen. After taking some time to reflect, I came up with a list of the 10 things I did to go from 10k to 100k in one year. For those of you who may want some inspiration, here you go!
First and foremost, I got real with God. I started having vulnerable conversations with Him. I started asking BIG scary things from Him. I stepped outside my comfort zone and started volunteering at church on the welcome committee, being part of the Women’s Ministry Team, and even shared my own personal testimony. Most mornings (not all) I would sit down and do my daily devotional. Saying an intentional prayer every day. I became overwhelmingly grateful for all that God has gifted my family and me with. Me and God, we became tight. He was my right-hand man, each decision I faced, I would pray over and ask for guidance, and gratefully, He led the way.
My entire mission behind IOME is self-care, right? So, I finally started to take care of myself as if I were one of my members. I committed to monthly facials, got a house cleaner, and even started using a meal delivery service. I had more fun than ever before by being intentional about spending time with other friends. Traveled for a few mini-vacations. I turned the “shoulds” into “did it!” I even said no, I had to turn things down knowing it was not going to fill my cup and would leave me drained. I set boundaries with close people who weren’t adding value but instead only devaluing me. I truly became a master of my own self care.
I used to drink whenever I wanted and eat whatever I wanted. 2020 was the year I started to set some limits. I started to finally ask myself “is this serving me in the long run?”, “am I going to benefit from this?”. I worked with some of our incredible partners while working out consistently, tracking my macros, and getting myself in the best shape I’ve been in a LONG time (I'm talking pre-kids shape)! I even started running, something I thought would never happen voluntarily and I actually started to enjoy it. Hear me now, I did not stop enjoying craft beer, burgers, or that amazing Costco eggnog. I occasionally skipped a workout, too. The difference was that I just finally started setting some limits and made sure my quality self-care was outperforming the self-indulgences I was used to.
Yup… you read that right. In 2019 my husband was unexpectedly laid off while we were in the middle of a construction loan and we were in a desperate situation. My business was only a year old and I needed some sort of income to prove we could close on the loan. By the grace of God, I was able to find a great part-time job working only a few hours a week and had guaranteed income to allow us to close on the loan and provide some stable income while building IOME. I am still working this part-time job and proud of it. I think all too often we hear if you’re only 90% in then you’re 100% out. I strongly disagree. Having this part-time job has allowed me to work in a state of abundance versus a state of scarcity wondering how I am going to pay the mortgage, etc. I feel so strongly about this because I’ve been there before. For me, it isn’t worth it.
IOME’s mission is prevention. I believe with my whole heart that self care is preventative care. If we can go to counseling before the breakdown we can prevent the breakdown from ever happening! I also believe that if we actively work on our relationships we can prevent the heartache of becoming distant, among many other devastating things. Because of this, my husband and I started to go on regular date nights. We became intentional about our marriage and the love we have for one another, outside of the busyness of the day to day. We found a fantastic babysitter just a few miles from our house and made a commitment to go on a date night regularly to invest in our marriage.
Like already mentioned, I was intentional about growing my relationship with God. With that, as a family, we started getting more involved in our church. From a bi-monthly donation to both serving and giving our time, we started to become more connected with our incredible church. One of my values in life is to be generous. I want to share my time, money, skills, love, and faith generously with others. Both Tyler and I set out and became intentional on how we can do this more frequently. We also became invested in nonprofits that we feel passionate about. We are still developing this skillset and we look forward to growing it substantially.
Vulnerably, there were some setbacks in my business at the start of 2020. I learned some valuable lessons and moved forward, past the sting of betrayal and hurt. At first, I was inclined to hold on “white-knuckle” tight to the situation. It would have been too easy to become all consumed by the scarcity mindset fears I had. After lots of tears and lots of prayers, I finally came to the conclusion that I need to let go (anyone else immediately imagine Elsa singing on the top of her ice castle, "LET IT GO!?"). I needed to have an open hand mentality of abundance knowing that if I let this go, I will be making room for so much more. This piece also played a big role in my husband's career. We were able to think in abundance as he left his government job and started his own air duct cleaning business in April. Since then, he has been very successful and our schedules have been much more flexible to create more harmony in our work-life balance.
Whether it was simply asking for help with the kids or hiring a business coach. I was willing to ask for help often this past year. I had vulnerable moments with my husband and asked for help in the areas around the house that were draining me. We hired a house cleaner. Bryer and Brystol were both either in school or with daycare three to four days a week. For me, I know that I am more productive when I have focused, intentional time for work while the kids were in daycare. Then, once the kiddos came home, I could be more intentional and focused on being a mom, instead of trying to juggle all of the above at the same time. If I could grant any wish to others out there it would be willingness to ask for help.
I became a master of my morning routine. It’s my favorite actually. Each day (most days, I should say) I’d wake up around 5:30 a.m. I would first drink my tall glass of water, and open my devotional for intentional prayer. After, I’d pour a yummy cup of coffee and settle in to answer emails and create my plan for the day. The kids are still asleep, the house is still, and I am focused. During this time, I would map out my day, my week, and my month. It was the perfect time to stay focused on my goals and the steps to achieve these goals. There’s something very energizing about this quiet hour in the day to be intentional in my self care and work.
Probably most importantly, I gave myself grace. I wasn’t perfect, actually, I was the furthest thing from perfect. Some days I would crush all the above. Some days I wouldn’t even come close. I often fall victim to the all or nothing mentality, which does not serve me in the long run at all. I needed to be a champion at more-often-than-not instead of the all or nothing. So on the days that I fell short and drank more than I should have, indulged in all the unhealthy foods, didn’t work out for a few weeks at a time, lost my temper and yelled at my kids, slept in and didn’t go to church, I gave myself grace and a second chance to try again the next day.
Truly, I believe these ten things are what impacted my success in 2020. Especially with the end of 2020 fast approaching and I can say proudly that I wasn't a work acholic, I wasn't away from my family any more than a "regular job", and I honestly wasn't even overwhelmed by much of it at all.
I'm sure some of you might be feeling a little disappointed that I didn't share how to build your email list, how to create a funnel for your audience, or how to build followers on your social media. These are most definitely important pieces of success in any business, but before these things can work well, I believe wholeheartedly that you need to address the 10 things above first and foremost.
My heart is over the moon grateful for what IOME and our team has accomplished and there is no way I could have even come close all on my own. It was a team effort. Remember to set your sights high, create a Big Hairy Audacious Goal because if we can do it, so can you.
With so much love and gratitude,