Updated: Feb 5
From the laptop of Sara Michaels Destin, Florida
I'm going to get pretty real with you in this post. If you're surfing the internet looking for a magic success bullet; or "the next, best thing" or some kind of super secret tactic or strategy . . . sorry: this isn't it.
What I can give you is what worked for me and the shifts that needed to happen in order to brings this increase about and how you can use this post and these concepts as a guide to apply to wherever you're at and whatever industry or niche you are in. I also want to point out that 95% of this growth occurred between the months of June and November. I took nearly the entire month of December off due to having a health flare-up and having to focus on that. So I quite literally 5x'ed my income in 1 year working 1/2 the time. Not only that; but I did this WHILE we took the entire summer to travel and camp in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. This also occurred DURING a cross-country move from Wisconsin back to my dream location of Destin, FL AND I had to take the entire month of December off to focus on my health & healing because I had a thyroid / adrenal health flare up. Ready to dive in and see what changed and how this insane growth happened?
Here we go . . . PS - if you want to. listen to the. AUDIO version of. this post you can do that here:
I ALMOST MISSED SEEING THE GROWTH
Up first we have to talk about the fact that I almost missed out on this insane growth. I was sitting here, in the hotel of my dream location of Destin, Florida, (a HUGE life goal: accomplished) thinking of how far I have yet to "go" in my business & life. See: we've been here long enough that I've started to acclimate to this new level and it's at those times we can start to forget to be grateful for how far we've come. I was sitting here online looking at other people in my industry comparing myself and starting to feel down about all the goals & milestones I haven't hit yet. 😭 You ever do that? You surf instagram or facebook and compare yourself and then by the end of it you start feeling like a complete pile of useless poo and you might as well give up because you're never going to make it anyways and should probably just get a regular job.
Just me? Am I alone? Or do you do that, too? If you do: stop . 😂 Right now.
So here I was doing the comparison thing and prepping for my taxes pouting like a wimpy kitty baby whiner. Boohoo. Thankfully my husband had enough wisdom to ask: "What did you make the year before?" I told him. He then pointed out, "So . . . doesn't that mean you 5x'ed your income in 1 year?" My reaction: "holy sh*t. You're totally right"
He was totally right. I almost missed out on celebrating all of the GROWTH and PROGRESS in our life and business because I was so focused on how much further I feel like I have to go! UGH! It's crazy how often that happens. So please; SHOUT your success. CELEBRATE your progress. The end goal isn't the only thing that matters; it's about celebrating the process and milestones along the way. So without further adieu 1.) THANK YOU to my amazing husband who keeps me grounded 2.) I HOPE you find value in this post and apply it to YOUR life & business If you did. . . I'd love to hear from you in the comments or feel free to pin it or share with a business friend. xo, Sara
I got serious about working my business and treating it like a business (not a hobby)
. . . I had been working here and there "when I felt like it" or when it was convenient or when ambition struck me or when I was "inspired" thinking that this was how to be "in the flow"; but that ideal left me not working consistently and doing the things that were going to bring breakthrough in my business. I didn't have a clear plan. I would start & stop. My business focus would depend on how I was "feeling" and whether I "felt like" working or had the energy or not. I wasn't consistent. Because of the inconsistency my income was not consistent or predictable either. I didn't have clients or stable income; it was up and down. I realized I had to blend intuition & ease with systems & strategy. . . Yes inspiration is great. But inspiration & ambition ebbs & flows.
If you want REAL results; stop waiting to. be inspired and take INSPIRED ACTION CONSISTENTLY AND ON PURPOSE. The time when my husband had the kids: I needed to GET TO WORK.
I SET A NEW STANDARD + INTENTION AND TOOK MASSIVE, IMPERFECT, ALIGNED ACTION
. . . I set a new standard for myself and what I wanted my impact & income to be and I refused to settle for less. When I say I set a new"standard" I mean I set these intentions and ways of existing that would become my minimum non-negotiables. (a lesson I went over with my private inner-circle clients as setting your "M.N.N."s. For example; maybe you figure out you need to make ______ to live life at your desired level. Figure out what is the absolute MINIMUM you MUST earn to cover the basics. . . ---> THAT is your Minimum Non-Negotiable Number. Yes - goals are great; but my MNN was more motivating. If I didn't reach it? The consequences would be us having to waiver on our lifestyle which included my husband and I both being home. Find your MNN then set some goals & milestones along the way. In January I set my standard and my first goal: "$10K by the end of May".
As soon as I set the standard and my first goal; I immediately started seeking ways to align with it and took MASSIVE, IMPERFECT, MESSY, ACTION.
My philosophy has always been to just JUMP and figure it out as I go. So I freaking jumped. . . and it worked. I hit goal after goal after goal last year. . . . 6 years ago, after my divorce and that whole thing & making a new vision board, (if you want to hear my story click on the "my story" tab") I clipped something from a magazine that said "5,000". I clipped that believing knowing that someday I would earn $5,000 in a day. I had taped this clipping in my wallet and I've seen it every day since. This year: it happened 😭
I cried and then we celebrate with sushi . . I freaking did it.
It all happened because I got SERIOUS about what I wanted from my business and making it happen. I set a new standard for my life and business and I stopped settling for less.
I GOT CLEAR ON MY MESSAGING AND STARTED CONSISTENTLY ALIGNING WITH IT
. . . I had done this exercise before on my first "rodeo" with entrepreneurialism; but things had changed, I had evolved along the way, I had new experiences that shaped me and who I wanted to serve and what I wanted to do and I needed to re-evaluate my messaging. I figured out WHO I wanted to serve, HOW I desired to help them and WHAT I was going to say & offer. I identified how I wanted to earn and started posting and sharing about that online. I stopped viewing social media as a one-sided way for me to narcissistically share about ME and MY LIFE and instead about how my life and experiences could help OTHERS. I stopped posting photos I LIKED; and started thinking about what my AUDIENCE and COMMUNITY could benefit from. I started to OWN my experience and who I was.
I OWNED the fact that I had been in Success from Home Magazine. I OWNED the fact that I knew how to build a business and a team 100% online & organically. I OWNED the fact that I am pretty darn good at the "tech" & set-up side of business. I OWNED the fact that I am a kick@$$ website designer. I OWNED the fact that I'm really freaking good at strategy + marketing! . . . once we own who we are and what we can do; we're able to show up with the confidence, capacity, and capability to help those who need us.
I INVESTED IN MYSELF & HIRED A COUPLE DIFFERENT MENTORS
. . . I realized there were things I didn't know about going to the #Nextlevel. As always; whenever I am about to LEVEL UP it usually involves investing into myself in the form of a mentor or course that can increase my skill or ability. This was a big leap. It involved investing some serious cash and learning from (4) different
8-figure mentors, immersing myself in LEARNING (which was a SERIOUS COMMITMENT OF TIME AND MONEY!) and then immediately APPLYING what I had learned to my business.
Here's the thing; I hadn't invested in a mentor in awhile because for a bit . . . I was stuck and stagnant because I realized I wasn't applying what I learned. I purchased courses, went to events, and invested in mentors because because it FELT GOOD and made me FEEL LIKE I WAS DOING SOMETHING and it was that excitement high of the new purchase and #allthefeelings. But in reality; I was avoiding the "work" of my business & the "hardness" of taking action by doing the "work" of the course or investing in another mentor & telling myself the story that I wasn't ready yet.
Until finally at one point I told myself, "NO MORE COURSES. NO MORE BUSINESS EVENTS. NO MORE MENTORS UNTIL I APPLY WHAT I HAVE LEARNED!!!" So it was time to invest . . . and I was scared. 😱 I identified the mentors who had what I needed and I showed up and did the work. I will say, before investing a large amount there's always that crazy feeling of "OMG THIS IS A LOT OF MONEY WHAT IF IT DOESN'T WORK?!" and even though I've done this in the past; I was still freaking out.
. . . but in reality . . . I realized the only way it wouldn't work was if *I* didn't work. . . . and I will bet on myself every d@mn time. Mentors are amazing and they can 100% help you. . . if you do the freaking work. If you need a mentor; find one. Qualify them. Make sure it's one who holistically has the success you desire and has success building the same type of business you want to build. There are a lot of coaches out there and unfortunately a lot of them are crap. 💩
Be wise. . . . PS - if you are feeling my vibe and you'd like to work with me; you can always apply here I offer consulting, and 1:1 work ( with up to (3) private clients at a time) and I also offer courses & accelerator programs
I CUT THE BULL$%!* AND GOT HONEST ABOUT MYSELF WITH WHAT WASN'T WORKING
. . . ouch. This one ☝️ In January I had launched my "passion project": CoCreating Queens. IT'S BEEN A DREAM FOR YEARS! A space dedicated to everything I've learned about manifesting, mindset, lifestyle, money, law of attraction and how I went from broke, single, pregnant, 19 and failing to turning my life completely around. I am proud that I dove in and launched the high-value / low-price membership site associated with CoCreating Queens; but after a couple months it was *crickets*. 🦗
It didn't experience the results I thought it would. I had (3) amazing students in there but the rest would come and go DESPITE me feeling like I was "giving away the farm". I was getting frustrated (which is a usually a sign for me that something's not right). When one of my mentors was working with me, we had to take a look at what was taking up the most time but not producing a result. Guess what: it happened to be my passion project . . . the CCQ community 😭 I got honest with myself about it and set aside my pride so I could properly (and honestly) re-evaluate:
I launched before it was "ready".
The model & pricing wasn't working.
It was taking alot of time and not producing result. The pricing wasn't right. The core problem was people didn't "know", "like" , or "trust" me yet and I had to focus on this first. I came to the conclusion that I should come back to CCQ LATER. . . AFTER I was making more "right now" income I could shift back into this passion project.
Profits FIRST. Passion project SECOND. The timing wasn't right & I could always come back later. I gave myself the permission to let it evolve. I don't view the flop as a failure as I learned from the experience and it made me realize
very clearly WHO I wanted to work with. I gained absolute clarity that I wanted to work with the people who were WILLING and READY TO WORK but do it at a higher level.
I also realized that a low-dollar price point wasn't working for me.
I wanted to offer more value at a higher price point so I felt like I was honoring my time & work.
I IDENTIFIED MY HIGH-INCOME / PREMIUM PRICE POINT SKILLS THAT WOULD ALSO PUT ME ON THE FASTEST PATH TO CASH
. . . I could have FLOUNDERED working my @$$ off in the low-value membership site working with people who were half interested to MAYBE bring in $3,300 *IF* I got to 100 members . . OR
- I could focus on creating a PREMIUM PACKAGE to help just 1 PERSON and make $3,300. ^ ^ ^ I decided to do that and I launched my coaching program in May / June (EVEN THOUGH we were still traveling fulltime, it wasn't convenient AT ALL, I was in the Northwoods of Wisconsin with ZERO electricity or WiFi and we had all 4 of our kids for summer break). . . yeah. don't talk to me with excuses. ✌️ I welcomed my first 1:1 clients and it was an absolute joy. It lit up my soul 💫 I KNOW how to build businesses. I KNOW how to market. I KNOW how to help people. and I LOVE DOING IT 1:1. I also identified that in order to earn the highest amount of "right now" income I needed to focus on done-for-you high-value / high-income services + skills and my coaching packages. This meant focusing on what my fastest path to cash would be and I identified them as: + Website Design & Branding Packages (High Value) I expanded & re-branded and started an agency instead of just freelancing and started training some team members so I could scale.
+ 1:1 Coaching & Consulting (High-Value)
Residual & passive income is THE ABSOLUTE BEST
if you hang around me at all you know it's one of my favorite things. . . and I freaking love these forms of income because that's where long-term freedom comes in;
but you have to have some sort of MAIN INCOME SOURCE that can keep you up WHILE you're building your passive or residual income streams. We wanted to keep our lifestyle which included my husband being home and him helping with the kids while I was working (it's not conventional - but that's what we chose and we love it and it works for us).
I realized my website design skills were a high-value income skillset I could leverage and capitalize on to create the fastest amount of income. . . . so I did.
I STREAMLINED & AUTOMATED WHAT I COULD & BUILT MY FIRST "FUNNELS"
. . . I quickly realized there was a limit to what I could do myself in a day. I'm only one person running multiple things.
I was answering the same questions over and over. I needed to duplicate and automate to free up my time. AND I needed a consistent, predictable, reliable method for pulling NEW PEOPLE into my business.
So I put some automations in place on my website and recorded videos to welcome new clients and "walk through" some processes. I put all of my services into a price & service guide. I built my first official "FUNNELS"; I was able to start walking people through the process of getting to know me and building trust without me having to "make" each sale. (this is something I intend to continue to build on in the upcoming year) I had to spend time learning how to build funnels and design them. I invested in a funnel-building book and course (one of the best investments I made all year). I did the course for 30 Days during the summer 😭 It was SO HARD. Each day I applied. Each night instead of Netflix I listened to the homework & implemented. Then I invested in 2 more courses and more mentors and spent even MORE money . . .
learning HOW to get people TO my funnels with Pinterest, Facebook, & YouTube ads. I was constantly learning and applying what I'd learned. But it paid off and I launched my first funnel and ended up bringing in $1K in 11 Days . Yep - as a totally new "funnel" builder I launched my first funnel and hit the "1 comma club".
(which was super exciting & this is literally how I felt 😂 )
. . . I didn't care so much about the money or the amount.
The money was just proof that it was working and validated everything I'd worked hard for.
- that was in July / August.
PS - if you are struggling with bringing in new people consistently to your business or you have no idea what a funnel is, why you need one, or how to build one; I want to help. Click on the "funnels" tab on the resources page on my site.
If you'd like to build your first funnels with me as your guide; I'll show you how to everything simpler and faster than learning on your own and cut down your learning curve AND give you the absolute BEST resources on Funnels that I've found👯♀️ Just click on the "funnels" tab on the resources page. . .
GETTING HONEST WITH MYSELF ABOUT OUR #DIGITALNOMAD LIFE, PRIORITIES, & PUTTING DOWN ROOTS
. . . I realized in June / July that I no longer wanted to be a full-time digital nomad. It was stressing me out and that lifestyle alone is a full-time job. T
o try and create a 6 or 7 figure business WHILE ON THE ROAD without reliable access to WiFi and electricity was causing me unnecessary and added stress.
We had been trying to do this "travel" blog thing and thinking we would make money at that. I realized I was doing too many things at once & I needed to focus to maximize my results. The travel videos I was creating; while entertaining took up A LOT of time and brought in absolutely Z-E-R-O income. I had to evaluate my priorities. I could not create from a place of chaos.
I knew that in order to truly build the 7-figure business I desired that it was going to require focus and somewhere with roots where we could rest, relax, and just have a sense of stability.
I also knew that I wanted to get my health back on track which was very difficult on the road and without electricity. I needed a juicer. I needed a blender. I needed energy and health to pursue my business. I loved the outdoors. I loved living minimally. I loved it. . . . but I needed roots and decided I only wanted to travel fulltime for the summers and re-visit the idea of full-time travel again in the future.
I wanted to put down roots. We made the decision to move to Florida and got here in October. I'm happy with the process. In the upcoming year I plan to continue to focus on building my passive and residual income streams and scaling back my done-for-you services and 1:1 coaching so I can focus on my health & healing. I've accepted that I cannot do business like a "regular" entrepreneur "hustling" and grinding 14 to 16 hours a day, living off of caffeine, sacrificing sleep + weekends just for success. From this point forwards I intend to pave the way for entrepreneurs who. have been diagnosed with any kind of health challenge; autoimmune, thyroid, adrenal, or anxiety & look forward to sharing my journey + resources along the way proving that you CAN have health + wealth and you don't have to sacrifice yourself to build a 6 to 7+ figure business. I'm sharing more about my health crash + what I'm doing while continuing to build my business inside this free facebook community: click here to request access "Vibrant Health + Healing Naturally"
HOW YOU CAN APPLY THIS TO YOUR OWN LIFE & BUSINESS
. . . now for the real part: how these principles & concepts can be applied to YOU. I would suggest taking this list of questions, grabbing a sheet of paper or whatever and asking yourself and being OPEN to the answers. It's all inside of you. You know the next steps. You have everything you need to succeed. Sometimes all we need is a little clarity. 1.) Have you been pursuing your business like a business or like a hobby? Have you been showing up consistently?
2.) What is the STANDARD you would like to set for yourself? What is the minimum non-negotiable you desire to earn from your business?
3.) WHO do you want to serve, HOW do you want to serve them, and WHAT do you desire to do? This should give you some clarity in HOW you desire to earn. Once you figure this out; decide how you can consistently & clearly start to show up with this messaging.
4.) What do you need in order to get to your next level? Is it a course? Is it applying what you know? Is it a mentor? Is it a skill? and if it is a mentor: WHO and WHAT do you want them to guide you in? What is the result you desire?
5.) Are there things in your life & business that are fun . . . but not necessarily producing the most results? Or are taking up the most time and stress and not creating the return you desire? This is where you take a hard evaluation at your business + life and have the courage to face the truth.
6.) What is your "fastest path to cash"? What areas can you confidently produce income in the fastest that if you were to FOCUS on this would produce the best return? How can you focus and show up in this one area?
7.) Do you have a consistent, predictable way to bring in new clients or business into your business? Do you have systems in place to help simplify & streamline? If not; then systems, integrations, & automations need to be put into place (and possibly a funnel.) If this is where you need help . . . I got you. Click here
8.) Really just take an assessment of where you are, where you desire to be, and what you need to do to get there. Look at your overall life and lifestyle . . . is there anything you can do to help align your life holistically with success? Maybe it's a move or hiring help . . . whatever it is; now would be the time to look at it. I hope you enjoyed this post! If you did I would love to hear from you in the comments below! & please consider "pinning" it to pinterest or sharing it.
DO YOU NEED ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE OR SUPPORT?
Are you a broke entrepreneur with big goals on a boot-strap budget? check out ---> The Free Resources Section of my site where I've put together different resources to help guide you as your (free!) virtual mentor. Are you relatively new to business & are looking for the strategy, systems, tech, & set-up to to create a successful 6 or 7+ figure business? ---> check out: "What the Tech?!" Do you desire to hit consistent $10K months, have a clear concept of what your offer is and who your ideal client is but are seeking 1:1 guidance or support with a specific skillset? ---> click here to see how to work with me
OR do you want to work with me & get personally mentored as I build a 6+ Figure Residual Income Stream? I am looking to personally mentor 20 people to $10K+ in 2020 Click Here to get more information about this opportunity And as always . . . I invite you to. check out the rest of the resource section on the blog or connect with me on. Social Media. I particularly love to hang out on Instagram Stories.
HOW TO CONNECT WITH ME:
LISTEN TO MY STORY: click here (Rock-Bottom, Pregnant at 19 to Life by Design) INSTAGRAM: @xosaramichaels FACEBOOK: fbcom/saramichaelslive YOUTUBE: youtube.com/saramichaels PINTEREST: www.pinterest.com/inspiredbysara PODCAST: www.saramichaels.com/podcast
Cheers, to your success. xo, Sara