I looked up this week and realized that it’s December and not just December, but the second week of December. So I did what I usually do sometime before the end of the year, which is that I thought about the successes I’ve had this year, the setbacks, and what I learned.
Many of you may remember that it is this year, in January, that I discovered that I’m manic depressive. My husband has known for years, apparently. From the moment he met me, in fact. But I have lived in willful ignorance. As part of the process of dealing with this new information, this year I agreed to see a therapist.
One incident stands out in my mind and sums up not just my attitude to my mental health but my entire life. I was sitting in this therapist’s office telling her that I was doing very well in both my business and my creative career and that I was excited to work with her because if I had managed to get this far with no real help or understanding, what could I achieve once I finally had that?
The therapist considered me for a minute. And then she said slowly, “You don’t have to try so hard, you know. If you fail, the government will look after you.”
First of all, this is factually incorrect. The British government will gleefully send my immigrant ass back to my own country if my family fails to meet the minimum income targets set out for us. But secondly, and more importantly, talk like this is poison. If you allow it to seep into your life and give it access to your mind, it will kill your dreams, extinguish the fire that burns in your heart, and take away your fight. I dream of financial freedom and this lady just told me I should consider government support. Talk about a mismatch in world views. (Not that there’s anything wrong with taking the support should you need it, let me be clear, but perhaps it’s not something one should aspire to.)
I absolutely refuse to engage in talk like this. I don’t want to be around it. I never stepped foot inside that therapist’s office again and, in fact, eventually quit therapy entirely. Instead, that week, I hired a $500-an-hour business coach to help me figure out how I could stay productive and profitable during both my “up” and “down” states.
Look, there is no denying that both my states of depression and mania have a considerable impact on my life in ways that I never even recognized. But there is also no denying that I have a successful career and a successful life and that despite the challenges, success has been possible for me.
I will never be defined by my problems. I refuse to be. That will not be my story. My story will be what I make of it and every single day, I have the opportunity to wake up and rewrite it.
When I told my business coach that I wanted to write the first draft of a book, ten blog posts and an entire e-course within two weeks, he didn’t tell me I was crazy and that I needed to set more realistic goals. Instead, he said, “That’s a lot of work to do in that short period of time so let’s add some incentive. Put your money where your mouth is. Only put on the list what you’re really going to back financially.” So we agreed that if I didn’t my goals, I would make a financial contribution to a cause I stand against.
I don’t take the flow of money casually. It’s serious business. My donation to an organization that takes away the rights of others goes into making the world a horrible place. Needless to say, I will do everything in my power to not make that donation. I, of course, met all my goals.
The coaching is great, but what I’m really interested in is the mindset. I’m determined, now more than ever, to surround myself with people who are compassionate, driven, artistic, engaged with the world, globally-minded, outward looking, passionate, committed to making the world a better place, and who take responsibility for their lives and their actions. People who think big and dream big and believe in everything the world tells us is impractical and outlandish.
You cannot afford to surround yourself with people who quash your dreams, who see you succeeding and tell you not to “try so hard.” Choose to surround yourself with people who are good at things. I’m not a fan of eliminating close friends and family from your life because I know that every single person has something to offer. Some of the least ambitious people I know are incredible parents and partners, some of the best businesspeople I know are terrible at relationships. I respect both of them, learn from both of them in their respective areas of success.
No one has every area of their life figured out. But find people who have one area figured out so well that you view them as examples. Model that area of your life around them. I constantly try to add positive influences in my life in different areas. Survivors of abuse. Creators. Entrepreneurs. Happily married couples. Fantastic parents. People who can show me how to do better.
If you’re going to do one thing in the new year, let it be to surround yourself with positive people, people who help you rise just by setting a good example.
In 2017, I intend to continue to learn from the best of the best and of course, come back and share it all with you.
I want you break into your dream publication with a query letter that sells. (Here are some of mine. Download them for free.)
I want you to make $300-400 an hour with content marketing. (Here’s a free 7-day course that shows you how to do that.)
I want you to finish that book you’ve been saying you’ll finish for years. (Check out my latest course.)
Also, for a very short period of time only, I’m opening up private coaching again. But I’m doing it differently this time because it’s going to be intense and I’m only going to take four people.
Here’s how it works: The coaching will last six weeks and each week we will set new goals based on your targets, how you’re doing, and what’s working and what isn’t. In addition, we’re going to have a DAILY 10-minute check-in chat to see how you did the previous day and so that I can keep you accountable and on track. The coaching with be strategic and personalized so that it’s entirely centered on the results YOU want for YOUR freelancing business. I will be involved at every stage of the process and you will have unlimited access to me for those six weeks.
This is only for people who are truly serious about getting to their goals in 2017. We will hit the ground running on January 2 so that the first six weeks of the year can set you up for massive success.
As I said, I’m only taking four clients. Email or message me if you’re interested. I’ll send you a more detailed description and we can schedule a chat to see if we’re a good fit.
2016 is about to come to an end and if you’re anything like me, you want 2017 to be better and more satisfying no matter where you are in your life and career. The time for laying the groundwork for that to happen is now.
Surround yourself with good people, learn from them, and constantly force yourself out of your comfort zone.
I can’t wait to see what we all achieve in 2017. I’m so grateful that you’re here and that we get to do this together.