The Lone Leader Weekly

8th March 2023

Give Yourself A Damn Break

You ARE making progress. No matter how small.

#1. Your Harshest Critic, Is You.

Every day you let your ego take over, you lose. Redefine what good looks like and accept that perfection is a myth.

#2. You Are A Work In Progress.

We all are. If you ask new questions each day, challenging your very existence, you are already ahead of the rest.

#3. FFS. Accept The Win.

Don’t ruminate on what could have been better. Take the damn win, accept it, and celebrate a little. Then take the lessons and go again.

There is no doubt that you are further along than you realise. But that voice in your head hounds you, tortures you, that you are not enough, you haven’t come far enough.

Only every single day, I hear you say.

But not today. I want today to be the day that you observe, embrace and accept the amazing progress you have made.

This isn’t some motivation hype article. This is a reality check that you, me, we all need. If only to keep you sane.

In the past few weeks, I have found myself being hugely tested in all aspects of my life, the good the bad and the ugly. So many moments I wanted to quit, to say fuck it, I want an easy life. But those moments don’t last. They never last.

Some of the conversations I have been having with clients and friends all speak of deep challenge, fatigue and a loss of hope.

The economy and constant speak of recession, the relentless lessons that mother nature keeps delivering, especially in New Zealand, all making each day that little harder.

But here’s the thing, none of it is new. The weather is never quite perfect, we never quite have enough clients or money, time is always under pressure, sleep, diet and everything in between, never quite where we want it to be.

Expectations. Your success and misery all live in your own expectations of success.

As I was closing out my accounts recently, for fun, I looked at the total revenue I had generated over 12 years (it was recently our birthday), this was a vanity act to give me a lift hopefully.

$ 5.5 million dollars. That’s the figure. And it’s a big figure.

There are two ways to respond – firstly to say well that’s not much for 12 years of work, I have many clients that do that per year, some past clients do that a month, what am I doing wrong?

The second way is to be grateful that many would kill for that kind of revenue.

What it made me realise, is that 12 years ago, I took a punt, backed myself and lept into the unknown. 12 brutal years of surviving, growing, shrinking, staff, no staff.

Being able to afford the wages but on a credit card. Telling my wife that this week there was no money.

Times when I could barely fuel my car to get to a meeting, sitting in that meeting praying you to get the gig so I can pay some bills.

All part of the journey of being a lone leader.

But here’s the reality check. Not one in my family or friends ever owned a business.

I was the first, like the I was first, to go to University in my entire family, my first Ironman, representing New Zealand at the World Triathlon Championships, increasing our property interests by a factor of four, cancer, having my first daughter and losing her, having my second daughter who is 10 next month, all while trying to work out this crazy world we call business.

After 12 years of doing it tough, I’m in the best place I would be, right here, right now.

I am clear on the path I want my life to take, in fact, it is the path I am on, not a future state.

When I hear about the pain that business owners go through, I have nothing but admiration. Day 1, or day 4380 (12 years), is the most extraordinary journey, and you are doing it, and we are doing it.

If you generated $100,000 last year and generated $105,000 this year – you are amazing.

If you had 5 clients last year and you have 6 clients this year, you are amazing.

If you had 20 people on your email list last year and now you have 40, you are amazing.

If you get up each day and take on the fight, even when you don’t want to, you are amazing.

If you pick up your kids from school two days a week, and it was once, you are amazing.

It is all amazing. Your chances of success in business are so slim, the sacrifices so great that it is a silly thing to do, yet we do it anyway.

Suppose you are having an off day, feeling down or need hope. Grab a pen and pad and write down everything you have achieved. DO NOT, for one minute, value it against another or say it could be better. Accept, with gratitude; these are the thing YOU achieved; these are the hurdles YOU overcame, and these are the days YOU got up and said, let’s go again.

You made this happen. And you can make more happen. Just keeping going.

Until next time, be grateful, be kind, be proud. You deserve it.


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