Six years ago today, I hosted my first live event in NYC.
That singular experience delivered my highest high and lowest low of my professional career. In one single day.
I had just moved here 5 months earlier and wanted to build goodwill in my new entrepreneurial community so decided to host this event.
I used the formula* my coaches taught me to fill it – and it sold out 2 weeks before. TWO WEEKS! SOLD OUT!
I found the perfect loft. Sunny. Spacious. New York vibe.
The buzz in the room that day was electric. We even had to set up an extra table in the back of the room for the people who showed up who couldn’t buy tix, but wiggled their way in.
We laughed and learned about values and selling. And I had reaaaaalllly cool booklets printed for everyone and really cool decks of cards for experiential learning. And we had so much effing fun. It was better than I had imagined it.
(Look at the happy faces in the pics!)
After lunch, things went downhill in an instant.
Originally, I hadn’t planned to make an offer, which is the typical purpose for doing those events.
I had made an offer at the events I hosted in Austin, TX and Minneapolis and done fine. But this one was different. I just wasn’t feeling it.
But the way it’s “supposed” to be done is to make an offer — so against my better judgement, I did it the way I was taught.
It felt like the air got sucked out of the room.
I did the traditional “break after the offer” and there wasn’t a massive rush to the back of the room. In fact, most people avoided eye contact. Or so I felt because > I < felt so uncomfortable.
I did get a few clients as a result of that day. But the overall conversion was nothing even remotely close to my expectations.
In hindsight, the BIG problem is that I wasn’t on board with making an offer. How could I expect THEM to be?!
I was upset with myself. I felt embarrassed. Humiliated. Mad. Confused. Frustrated.
I’m pretty sure I sunk into the worst damn Dip of my professional career at that point.
And it’s one of the BEST THINGS THAT EVER HAPPENED “FOR” ME. 💛
It was one of those experiences that you never forget or shake off.
It gave me resolve to STOP doing things that don’t align with who I am. Although it took a long while for some of the practices I’d learned to go away. Damn, they’re sneaky!
* I’m not judging the practice of “get them in the room and make an offer.” I’ve done that since then, but in my uniquely own way, and with offers I’m totally excited about.
I now do things differently than I used to.
Each has its own vibe. I fill each one differently, depending on who I want there. I do free. I do paid. I have people apply for some – not for others.
I host several events where I don’t make offers… but let my brilliance shine and the money follows.
And some of my events feel more like parties – but using a business training as an excuse to gather and deliver value.
I 1000% believe that experience 6 years ago made me a better coach. And more importantly, a better human.
I can’t bear seeing people suffer. Or do things that aren’t true to them. Trying to be or do something or be someone they’re not. Trying to get the same results of someone they admire or aspire to be, in the same way.
It also plays into “why I give a shit” (as one of my clients so eloquently put it…) I’m not sure I was plugged into that as dearly as I became after that experience. Because I never want ANY of my clients to feel that deflated. Or not have a way to bounce back when things don’t go as planned.
Since then, there have been other letdowns. That’s all part of the evolution of an entrepreneur. But damn, I’ll never forget that day – or how it shaped me.
I share this story because I know that there are a lot of “look at how successful I am – I’ve never made a mistake in my entire life – I shit Unicorns” b.s. that leaves some people feeling really crappy and wondering why they can’t get ahead when everyone else is so successful.
It’s important to know that’s not the full truth. And don’t let anyone try to make you believe otherwise.
It’s a part of the journey, my friend. And the closer you do business aligned to your truth, the fewer missteps you’ll make.
To mark my 15 year anniversary as a business owner, I’m excited to share how I went from my worst dips in business – to accomplishing some of my greatest achievements.
You’ll also get a sneak peek into some of the design elements that are part of my brand refresh along the way. In case you’re a curious one, like me. 😍
Go ahead and click to watch the video below…!
Want a tiny bit more insider info on my reinvention? Check out http://carolynherfurth.com.
Reinvention is that phase in the evolution of an entrepreneur that comes along when things have been going pretty damn smoothly.
Or “slicker than snot” as my siblings and I so eloquently put it when we were kids.
You’re happy with the amount of money you’re earning.
Serving clients you adore.
Life is gooooooooooooooood.
And then one day you wake up and realize there’s something else you need to offer the world.
Sometimes you know exactly what it is. Other times, you don’t have a clue. Simply a feeling that you’re being called by something bigger than you.
What you do know is you’ve got a sense of being nudged (or maybe it’s a bullhorn in your ear…) to change things up.
By doing more. Or less. Or maybe something entirely different.
It forces you into an even bigger version of the game you’ve been playing until now.
As I go through a reinvention of my own, I’m even more aware that it’s a process of realignment.
And deeper truth.
Realignment with your ever-evolving self.
Finding truth in the intersection that acknowledges how both you and your audience have grown along the way.
Reinvention forces decisions about what to create. And what has to wait.
It’s about taking a good hard look at every bit of your life and business from a place of truth. And choosing what to let go of in order to create space for the new.
It’s about expressing your full self. Your evolved self. Your future self.
Because doing so will ultimately serve more people who are waiting for your even more resonant message. And better serve you too.
Over the coming days and weeks, I’ll periodically take you through the ins and outs of my current reinvention / realignment over on Facebook Live.
From what prompted my recent trips to Singapore, Cambodia and London.
To the world’s longest photo shoot — and the custom red skirt that wasn’t.
Untouched thumbnails over here!! >>>
To what I’m letting go — and why — and how.
Things I’m creating that are more in alignment with what’s ahead — while honoring where I’ve been.
And probably a whole bunch of other stuff that I haven’t even anticipated yet…
Because even if you’re not going through a reinvention / realignment right now, you will someday.
Guaranteed. It’s the way of the entrepreneur.
And perhaps what I share with you sheds light on making your own journey easier to steer through.
If you’re already in on my email communications, I’ll do my best to remember to shoot a quick email message when I know I’m going live. And be sure to follow me on Facebook if you don’t want to miss a beat!
btw – In case you haven’t seen this explained before, learn more about Reinvention in this video about the Evolution Of An Entrepreneur.
One thing that screws with my soul is the suspension of disbelief in so many entrepreneurs.
To be clear, I’m not talking about the shocked, “Wow! Can you believe he just tweeted confefe?!” disbelief that happens when something amuses or alarms us.
I’m referring to the, “Who am I to say/do…?” lack of belief of our own worthiness. It’s the brand of disbelief that stops us from making the fullest impact we’re capable of.
And it’s in opposition to the belief we had to have to even start a business in the first place.
A passage in Kyle Cease’s quirky, challenging and entertaining book, “I Hope I Screw This Up” gives an example:
…any time you have a decision to make, you’ll feel either excited in your body or scared and in your head, so just ask yourself, “Which would I rather live in?” Whatever decision you make will move you toward that reality. “I really want to do this. Yeah, but I can’t afford it.” Well, maybe you’ll be able to afford it when you decide to do it. This sounds crazy to a lot of people; that’s their “Yeah, but…” brain that they’ve trained themselves to listen to.
The source of the “yeah, but…” fear Kyle talks about stems from disbelief.
It’s a lack of self-trust in yourself. And it fires up fear whenever something looks even slightly risky. It’s when you stay put instead of choosing to pursue possibility.
It’s so sneaky that we often don’t notice it. But when you tune in with yourself, you see it.
I’m not immune. I’ve been there hundreds of times.
Even though I’ve been intrigued for months, I was avoiding Facebook Live like rats after dark in NYC.
(Who am I kidding, I avoid rats during the day too.)
The truth is that I was afraid people wouldn’t show up, participate or give a sh*t. And that would be a hit to my ego.
But after doing a couple, I realized I was wrong. People did show up. Some did participate. And a few even care.
I’ve seen this disbelief show up in myself and others by not publishing that blog post, not hosting the retreat that would light people up, not sharing your point of view or doing webinars that would open eyes, not joining the program or hiring the coach who would grow your business, not making the follow up call that would land the new client, not creating the program that would generate additional income, not following through on your commitments that would keep you in integrity… This list could go on for miles.
Staying suspended in a state of disbelief eats your dreams for breakfast.
And let’s not forget lunch and dinner. Although occasionally it might ease up for a snack on faith.
Even though we have control over that fear, we succumb to it anyway. And it keeps you playing small.
So I’m going to keep facing my fear of Facebook Live by doing it again.
And because I’ve got a lot to share about my observations and lessons from 15+ years of working with thousands of entrepreneurs, I’m going to work at improving the experience so people get so much value they come back for more.
This week, I’ll share the results of a simple experiment I did with a few of my clients last year that suspended their disbelief and fear — and yielded life changing results.
HINT: It was so much effing fun!
(And now I’m wondering why I haven’t done this with more clients more often! Disbelief, perhaps?)
If you’d like to learn about one ridiculously magical way I found to deal with Ego + Fear, be sure to click over to Facebook Live on Wednesday, June 28 at 12:30 Eastern.
I believe that when things get tough, it’s not time to back down. It’s time to step up.
Ever heard of Lady Gaga? (Yeah, of course you have.)
She was dropped by her first record label after just 3 months.
Imagine the despair she must’ve felt. How could they do this to me? What do I do? What will people think? What now?
Well, we all know she didn’t back down. She clearly stepped up.
And she’s not the only one who’s ever stepped up.
But how do you know if it’s worth stepping up when you’re ready to expand and up level but it feels so big? And you wonder how to make it happen? And your family thinks you’re nuts?
Or on the flip side, what if the fifth prospect in a row doesn’t hire you? Or you don’t fill your group program? Or not enough people register for your event? And nothing seems to be working?
What if you fail? (What if you succeed?)
What if you’re publicly humiliated? (What if you’re publicly praised?)
What if you’re worn out and don’t have the energy to step up? (What if it infuses you with energy?)
What if you can’t afford what it takes to step up? (What if you took a chance on yourself?)
What if you don’t have the support to step up? (What if you found it somewhere else?)
What if you don’t have the self-trust to step up? (What if you did?)
What if…? What if…? What if…?
Great questions. I’m glad you asked. I’ve asked myself those questions many times over my 15 years as a business owner.
Join me Tuesday, June 20 at noon Eastern over on Facebook Live to swap stories of backing down and stepping up. And how to know whether it’s worth the bother. I’ve got loads of thoughts on this topic and I bet you do too.
Hope to see you over there.