I just realized that I kind of forgot all about the birthday post this year and I’m sorry. I was in the middle of completing a round of teaching Persuade to Profit. And then right after my birthday, I had to go to New York City for a satellite media tour for a client. In between both of those things, it totally slipped my mind that I did not do the annual post. So I’m making it up to you guys. And I’m doing it podcast style this year.
Every year since I started blogging in 2010, I do this massive birthday post. It’s where I share the lessons I’ve learned in the last 12 months or so. Usually, it’s lessons having to do with money. And I do this every year, for a couple of reasons.
- To show everyone how this process really works. To sort of show the evolution.
- I want to mark where I’ve come from. I want to show myself how far I’ve come and document the process and the evolution for myself.
So I turned to 31 this year, and I picked the top six lessons from the last 12 months. Now I’m sharing that with you, guys.
I learned to work with others.
This was a really big theme for me in 2018 in general. But from a 30 to 31, I feel is when this started really cementing in for me. I have had to learn how to work with other people. And what I mean by that is I’ve had this giant realization that what I have built in this company, is officially way bigger than me.
I really needed to start implementing more support and that looked like hiring people. So, I hired a new manager, Johanna Voss. I hired my full-time assistant Zenya back in December by the end of 2018. She’s my executive assistant. She’s full-time and she’s a badass. And she really helps me run this stuff behind the scenes.
And it’s not just like in the professional sense of things. It’s also allowing people to help me in my personal life. Friends and family who want to help me with this company, with this brand, and they want to help me with this giant purpose that I’ve got in this lifetime, allowing them to help me, too.
I think one of the biggest realizations for me in the last 12 months has been that I don’t have to do this all by myself anymore. It’s not all on my shoulders anymore. It doesn’t have to be all on my shoulders. For a long time, it really did feel that way because for a long time it was like only I could see the vision, only I could see where this was all going and not everybody else got it yet. So that’s really, really been huge for me.
I’m not a workaholic
Lesson number two is I’ve realized there’s a huge difference between being a workaholic and being on purpose. And the reason I bring this up is that especially those of you who have really big dreams and really big visions and you just really, really love what you do. And you’re seeing that vision when other people don’t see it yet, you’ll have a lot of people in your life who are like, “Why are you working so hard? Why don’t you come out to the bar with us? Why don’t you do this? You know, you really need more balance in your life.”
And you know what, I’m kind of fucking sick of it. I’m going to be honest with you because I’ve realized that most of the people who say those things to you are because they don’t have stuff going on in their lives a lot of the time. But rather than telling me, “Hey, why don’t you slow down and come down to my level? Why don’t you start learning how to keep up and get to my level instead?
I have purpose
So it’s been a really interesting transition as well because they used to make myself feel so guilty for the fact that I didn’t have as much of a social life as a lot of my other friends or maybe I did make certain sacrifices that a lot of other people wouldn’t make. But at the same time, I live a really good life and I have a company that I absolutely love and adore, and I know where I’m going.
I can wake up in the morning and I know where I’m going. I have direction, I have a purpose, I know what I’m working toward and I’m having an absolute blast.
So you know what? Yes, maybe I’ve been a little extra. Yes, maybe I’ve worked really, really hard, you know? Yeah. Okay. Maybe I need a little bit more balance in my life. It’s all fucking bullshit. Okay. I am living a damn good life and I’m kind of tired of feeling like I have to explain myself and explain what it is that I’m doing. I’m living life the way that I want to live it. And I like to have adventures and I like to live up to my fullest potential and I like to keep busy.
That is not the same as being a workaholic.
A workaholic is someone who’s avoiding their feelings and avoiding their problems through work, right? So I think this is a really important distinction because in a society that is totally obsessed with balance and workaholism, I think it’s important that we kind of distinguish the difference between actually being a workaholic and avoiding stuff in your life by working through it, right? And just being on mission and on purpose and really loving what you do. Because when you’re in that second half of the group, yeah, you’re gonna be busy. Yeah, you’re gonna be doing stuff, but you’re gonna love every damn minute of it. And even on the days when you don’t really love it, it’s still worth it, still totally worth it.
I know what I want.
This actually brings me to the third lesson. In your 30s, you give fewer fucks about what other people think about the way you live your life. There is no need to apologize for wanting what you want in life. You don’t have to explain yourself for wanting what you want, right? And of course, this is a podcast about business and finance and marketing and money mindset and all that stuff. So let’s use money as an example.
I wanna make a lot of money, okay? There are lots of reasons as to why. And I don’t have to explain a single one of them. Society will try and make you feel bad for wanting what you want, especially women.
A quick story
I read a great email this morning from Ash of the middle finger project. And she sent out a great email because she has this course out and someone had told her, “You already made six figures off of a book deal, why would you want more? Like how dare you charge this amount of money to teach people how to do the same thing?”
And she wrote this great email about how isn’t it funny that usually, it’s women who are made to feel guilty for wanting what they want. The most incredible thing about it is that it’s not usually men who are making them feel guilty about it, it’s other women who are making them feel guilty about it. And now that I’m entering my 30s, I’m starting to see more of that. I’m like, “Oh my God, there is a lot of women on women crime going on here.” It’s other women who are usually super judgy about that kind of stuff. It is other women who call women selfish for wanting money or setting boundaries or doing what it is that they want to do.
But you as an individual don’t need to apologize for wanting what you want. You don’t need to apologize for desiring what it is that you desire. And not only that but the more you step into the life that you want to live, the more it opens up to you and the more you inspire other people to step up.
I’ve noticed that when I just live my life the way that I want to live it, it inspires other people to live their lives the way they want to live it. And that’s a beautiful thing. It’s a really beautiful gift. And I think it’s something that as a society we just owe that to each other, live and let live.
Accept yourself and make money.
So the next one is number four. So this is really, really big. The more you accept yourself and express that in the world, the more money you will make, period. So I hate using the word authentic because it’s such a freaking buzzword. But I don’t think there’s really any other word for it.
The more you accept yourself, the more you are yourself, and the more you really allow yourself to show that into the world and you show your gifts into the world, the more money you’re going to make, the more people are gonna want to work with you, the better the work is going to come out, the more energy that you’re going to have, the more people want to help you.
And it really just comes down to at the core of it, and at the root of it, it’s really just accepting who you are and then learning to be vulnerable and express that out into the world.
Some people don’t want you to succeed
This is kind of a horrible one, but it is a really tough lesson I learned. I actually learned it at 29, but it’s not until now that I’m comfortable talking about it. There are people in the world who don’t want to see others succeed. So, unfortunately, as I get older, I don’t wanna say that I’m getting more cynical. I think I’m just kind of wising up a little bit and realizing that we live in a world of duality and it’s an imperfect world.
That being said, I do think most people are good. I think most people also have good intentions, or they’re just unconscious and don’t know what they’re doing. However, I did have an experience where when things really started getting good in my life, there were people in my life, in my circle, who tried to fuck with that and they tried to fuck with it in a really bad way. And it was a hard lesson in realizing that not everybody wants you to succeed and, in fact, sometimes the better your life gets, you’re gonna trigger other people and they just cannot freaking stand it.
How you need to handle it
Now, as soon as you notice that people are doing this, you know, once it starts happening to you, they got to go. I dropped this group of friends like yesterday’s trash. I dropped them like a bad habit. And it was easy for me to do that because I knew what I wanted. I was focused. I knew what I was working toward and I knew that I didn’t have time for the fuckery. And when you really are comfortable with yourself and you have good boundaries like that, it’s easier to do that and it’s easier to make those kinds of decisions.
I wish this wasn’t a lesson that I had to learn, but you know, it is what it is. I tend to be extremely optimistic, rose-colored glasses, and I think it was just a little bit too rose-colored that I didn’t see anything like that coming. There are people out there, sometimes within your own circle, that when you start doing really, really well, they’re not gonna like it. And the worst of them will try and screw with you and screw with your success and screw with what you have built.
I think about money differently
In the last couple of years is when I really noticed that a lot of the personal finance advice that’s out there only focuses on half the problem, which is managing money. But it doesn’t really focus on abundance and just rewiring the way that you think about money.
So one of the most incredible things for me has been kind of witnessing my own transformation over the years and how I just think about money so differently now. I’ll go for the hotel room upgrade. I’ll invest at the drop of a hat. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m spending money frivolously or anything like that, but I know what I value. And I know what’s worth taking risks on.
I no longer feel like I have to scrimp and save every penny that comes in, and I know how to make money. I think I said this on my Instagram stories the other day. Once you really learn and integrate the fact that you know how to make money when you need to, it changes everything because then financial decisions aren’t so scary anymore and risks become easier. And that’s that.