I don’t know ’bout you, but New Years Day is a bit of a sacred one for me. A day that begs to be anti-alarm, pro-pj’s, where Me Time takes, oh, the entire day.This year went a bit differently, since I was outta my pjs by 11a (the horror!) to have a lovely brunch with Luke & his sis before she caught her flight back home, but as always, the one commitment on my agenda is my Dear Future Me letter. Basically, the Dear Future Me letter is one that your future self writes to your present self to describe everything that happened to ya that year as if it already happened. I know, it’s a bit confusing to explain, so you can read mine from last year here. That was the first time I did that exercise, and even though I’d eyeball it & say that “only” about 50% of the things I wrote about happened, it so wasn’t the point. Writing that letter was just the most amazeballs, perfect, sweet, positive way to start my year off on the best daydream-y foot ever. So, of course, this year’s is below. I actually didn’t read last year’s letter until after I wrote this one, and you’ll see that I referred to my present self as “you” instead of “me”. There’s no right or wrong here – it’s just what I did. Yes, I still feel crazy for posting something so personal for the whole world to read, but I think it’s important! The greater good and all. Right (she says nervously)? Right!
So…here it be. I admit I did leave the personal, non-business stuff out of this version as well as some of the numbers I threw out there that I wanna hit this year. I just wasn’t comfy sharing that stuff, and I knew you’d understand. Eek! and Enjoy!
Jan 1, 2012
Dear Future Michelle,
It’s fitting that you’re writing this letter from your local coffee shop, as it’s become your haven in a way. Not only have you used this space throughout the year to write, but you finally recognized the ROI you get from doing work out of the house. The one day each week you took in 2011 to build your business or use as a writing day turned into a sacred one, where you could clear your head and your To Do List and make your projects – nay, your dreams! – happen.
And make your projects happen you did! I know it was fuzzy at this time last year, in terms of how you were going to get everything done you wanted to without hiring a full-time assistant or working 100 hours/week. But by the time the summer rolled around, you were in a groove and really embraced your 2011 word: INVESTMENT. You invested in yourself, your services, & your products, and it all lead to a super worthwhile investment in your business. I know how scary it was to trust it, especially the commitment to use 4 whole business days/month for business building and writing (as opposed to 1/month in 2010) and therefore cut yourself off from conducting sessions (and earning money directly!) on those days. But it SO paid off – financially, mentally and emotionally.
I’m not gonna lie – 2011 was an amazeballs year. With it being the first full year as a business lady of the world, you were still a bit green but thankfully kept embracing it. It’s a gift to be this new to it all, to make decisions based on what’s scary-exciting and experiment with, well, everything. Ugh, you’ll never turn into those hard-ass, cold business ladies, don’t you worry.I know that each and every year will give you the opportunities to do something new and fresh and yes, scary-exciting!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I can’t spill the beans for the next decade quite yet!
Well, 2011 started off with writing your book proposal and your digital workbooks, along with working with new clients (50 or so sessions/month) and conducting another round of The Declaration of You. The Declaration of You e-course actually ran 3 times this year, with an early 2012 retreat on the books already! So, so exciting. And yes, you’re allowed to say how proud you are of you and Jess, both collectively and together. You make such a great team, and working with her is anything but! You and Jess have already launched Part 2 of the e-course with as much success as Part 1, and you can’t wait to keep building that Empire. Yay, fun! TDOY 4 Eva.
Oh, and the digital workbooks! Finally, finally, some sit-back-and-relax income once the initial work is put into it (I hate calling it “passive” income – it’s anything but!). You were able to launch the first one, chock ‘full of your career change exercises, by February, and that was quickly followed by the workbook to help peeps make their dream careers a reality. You were pretty amazed by how easily it came (note to self: stop building stuff up in your head when you’ve barely done anything with it yet!), and how you had your very own “shop” with 2 fantabulous products by the summer! It’s really thrilling to know that you’re able to help almost everyone that wants to work with you, regardless of the amount of money they have to invest in this journey, from the low-cost of your workbook. You set out at the beginning of this year with your goal to make your work available to anyone who needs it regardless of the size of their wallets, and the workbooks are such a great reflection of that.
And talking of opening your coaching to lower price points, the group coaching sessions were a hit this year – you ran up 15 of ’em! Not only did it bring up your hourly rate while lowering it for those that needed it, but it enabled you to work on even more custom exercises while establishing your group coaching structure. And yes, while you did get a lot of people from your annual scholarship (you had over 200 entries!), you also got non-scholarship peeps in there, too. Aah, success.
And, um, you can hardly believe it, but your private rates are all at $300+/month regardless of the package. It’s insanity. You definitely struggled this year with not pricing out your ideal client – the creative types you love working with – but you also felt good with raising this price point when you have so many other options available for your potential clients. And you know that with all you’re doing to invest in your business monetarily, that your clients need to invest in themselves monetarily, too! It comes full circle indeed.
OK, I’ve been building up to this a bit because it’s been the scariest but…you have a book deal. Squeal! You worked your ass off to get the first draft of the proposal to your agent by March 1, and between the work you did with Brass Knuckles on building your platform (more on that later!) and the cleaning up you did on the proposal, it was being shopped around by the summer. It was tough to wait for the right fit and not just jump at the first taker, but you’re loving your editor & publisher as much as you love your agent, which is a lot. She’s just been so helpful with her notes and encouragement, it’s just great. And the work you did on your platform….
…well, that totally helped land a big advance! Yes, you worked on your own with building your platform via your workbooks, The Declaration of You, and posting on your blog daily (yes, daily) along with having at least 1 guest post/month out in Big(ger Than You) Blogland. And Jess Larsen was such an asset, keeping the admin stuff at bay and taking over the business building projects that you didn’t need to do myself, but needed to get done. You were smart to make the INVESTMENT in her so you could be freed up to make the money and go to town with the PR stuff! Thanks to Brass Knuckles, you saw your name in print 10 times, was interviewed on TV, and feel like you’ve established yourself as a bit of an expert (believe it on not!)! It’s also awesome to have your own press packet, ready to go for any media requests that come your way. And did I mention that your blog is now steady at 800 hits/day (!!!!) and you charge for ads?! It took most of the year to get it there, but my god woman, you did it! It’s also worth noting that your Twitter followers are now creeping up to the quintuple digits (did someone say 10,000?!) without your being a douche-y douche about it. Nice going. Oh, and you have a speaking gig lined up, too! It was totally nerve-wracking, but you knew that , by the end of the year, you were ready for it. And come on, you know it’s totally where you belong – up there on stage, speaking about your experiences and helping others get closer to figuring our what they wanna be when they grow up, and making it happen.
Could you even a thunk it?
It’s so big, so exciting, so fulfilling, so surreal that your life coaching business, nothing but a seed just 4 years back, is now fully in bloom and standing five feet tall. In your wildest dreams, would you have believed that making a real, true, viable living as an entrepreneur was even feasible? The old Michelle wouldn’t have let you believe in it, staving off the impending, inevitable disappointment. But New Michelle believes it because, well, she saw it right from the get-go on New Years Day. Yes, it was a stretch and didn’t come easily, but you did it. You’re here.
Bottom-line, it was all about:
- practicing what you preach
- going with your gut
- remaining vulnerable and authentic
- making choices and building your intentions around your INVESTMENTS
- treating your self (no, that’s not a typo) well with exercise and nutritious foods and Me Time and doing what you need to look & feel gooood
So here’s to 2012, Future Michelle, because 2011 was every bit as fulfilling, as fabulous, as scary-exciting as 2010 – and the world is still wide open to you. Just slow down and savor every moment, every win, every step. Take some time and read over your Line a Day journal that you wrote in each & every day this year. Breathe it in, and cry, and smile, and celebrate. You’ve found your way.
Love, Present Michelle