36 Truths About Business

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It’s that time again (again? I don’t even know if I have ever done this before) where I write a big ass list.

I was thinking today about what a crazy year it has been in my business and how much I have learned and grown (awwwww, insert sentimental music and photos of babies and puppies and shit here).

This time last year, I moved to the Dominican. That was right around the time that I was scheming Coaching Business Jumpstart with my girl Ellen. In fact, I just searched my email and found the exact email where we connected for the first time about it dated March 24, 2013 (only a week after we had connected for the first time EVER). I was all like “We totally need to teach coaches how to market because they suck at it”, and she was all like “Cool. I’m in”. WILD. We ran the first live version while I was in the DR, sketchy internet and all. And just this past month, we just CBJ into a proper online course and couldn’t be more proud of it.

A few months later, summer 2013, I moved back to Toronto, revamped all my services, and sometime around July connected with Kate, my client-turned-business-partner. We loved working together so much that we decided it would probably be in our best interests to partner up and take a bunch of people to the jungle. We ran the inaugural Catalyze Retreat Belize in January of this year. And we’ll be running our second retreat in July. And have already laid down a deposit for our third for 2015.

Around the same time I was scheming with Kate, I also connected with Lis. She emailed me to pitch me her design services and I jumped right on board. Three months later, I flew to Holland to visit her in person, because when you’re Uncaged you can just pick up and do that shit. We took a spontaneous trip to Morocco, drank a lot of mint tea, shot the shit about business and life, and became the best of friends.

And over the course of the rest of the past year, I’ve launched and then pulled the plug on programs. I’ve launched and in 6 hours sold out programs. I had my first real big money months. And I spent a lot of that money on my business. And a lot of other stuff happened.

I did some things really, really well, and I did some thing just plain AWFUL.

It’s pretty amazing what can happen when you give something a consistent, honest effort for a full year, and I am reaping the rewards of that now with sold out sessions and more importantly, finally having the most fun EVER with my work.

And I’ve learned a lot of truths along the way.

Here are 36 things that are true about business:

(Just highlight any of these sentences to tweet them!)

  1. Your business will never ever be the same as it is today, so get used to changes and stop worrying so much that it’s not perfect.
  2. Investing back into your business is one of the best (/only?) ways to grow.
  3. Running a retreat is way easier than people say it is.
  4. Launching an online course is way more complicated than people say it is.
  5. Working with sketchy internet is almost as frustrating as getting hung up on after waiting on hold for 45mins with the bank.
  6. Not showering or leaving the house for 3 days is a luxury.
  7. Now showering or leaving the house for 3 days makes you smell kind of bad which makes you not want to leave the house even more. It’s a vicious cycle that no one talks about because they secretly love it.
  8. Online friends are no longer a weird thing… until you tell your real life friends about them.
  9. If you’re looking for the magic secret on how to grow a business here it is: Patience.
  10. Even when you’re the worst at being patient, you STILL have to be patient. No one gets a get out of jail free card on this one.
  11. No one is an overnight success.  It takes years to build a successful business. Those people who say they are? Are lying.
  12. Eggs do NOT make a good meal if you eat them three times a day. Even if you cook them in different ways to fool yourself into thinking you’re actually eating a whole different meal.
  13. You have to do the fucking work. You can’t just expect things to happen on their own.
  14. It IS possible to create and sell out a new program overnight, when you know exactly to a tee what your clients want and need. But that takes time to learn.
  15. Running a new course or program is ALWAYS more fun with someone else. So much less pressure. So much less stress. And yes, so much less money. It’s still worth it.
  16. Hearing negative feedback about your work is always hard, whether the person telling you is your coach or a totally random douchebag. But every piece of feedback will teach you something about yourself and/or your business. It’s worthwhile to pay attention.
  17. Getting clear and specific about what you actually DO for people is your golden ticket to faster business success.
  18. Web design does matter.
  19. Writing your about page is one the hardest things you will ever have to do (other than  all that actual hard life stuff).
  20. Nothing you do really matters all that much in the grand scheme of things.
  21. It’s up to you to know your ideal client and do the research to find out what they need. No business coach can tell you exactly what your specific market needs.
  22. Having your financial shit in order takes a massive weight off your shoulders, and ignoring it is only going to screw you over harder at tax time.
  23. Ditto with your legal shit.
  24. Some clients will just never be happy, no matter what you do. It’s ok.
  25. Running an uncaged business likely means working more than you have ever worked in your life. Funny how that happens. But being able to work those overtime hours in Belize, or Holland, or Morocco, or the Dominican makes it totally worth it.
  26. You can’t do everything alone. Hiring someone to do the stuff you absolutely hate doing is 100% worth it. You’ll make that money back because you’ll actually have time to market and promote your business, instead of getting stuck in WordPress glitches, Mailchimp woes, and technical stuff that you shouldn’t be messing with anyway.
  27. It’s hard to find a great VA because a lot of them are creating their own business on the side and being a VA is just a filler job.
  28. Working from coffee shops is overrated. I prefer to have my fridge nearby and be able to take off my pants whenever I want.
  29. You have no choice but to be confident. The alternative means you won’t have a business.
  30. Your old blog posts will embarrass you in a year’s time, and you are totally allowed to go in and delete them.
  31. People pay attention to what you say, and you have more of a responsibility than you realize to stand by what you put out there.
  32. Some people close to you will just never get what you do, and they don’t need to.
  33. Creating a business literally is like having a baby… and I don’t know how people who have ACTUAL babies do both #supermoms #howdotheydoit #nothanks #sexyghost
  34. Things will feel like they aren’t working for a long time before they actually work. It’s part of the process, and if you crap out too early you’ll never get to the part where it works (which is obviously the fun part).
  35. You have all the time in the world to create your business, and the more you rush it, the worse it will be.
  36. More often then you’d imagine, you’ll worry that your webcam is accidentally turned on and that you’re secretly being broadcast all over YouTube as you smash down that greasy burrito down while typing with the other hand. Don’t worry, its almost never actually on.


What lessons have you learned in your business? Share your besties in the comments!

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Read 26 Comments & Leave Yours

  1. slecomte45

    37 – Sometimes the most demoralizing opinions you’ll hear on your business (aka “lifestyle”) will come from someone close, and you won’t see it coming. Keep doing what you love: some people will never get along with 9 to 5 alternatives…whether it comes from envy or reasonable worry :)

  2. MaryJSchiller1

    Thanks for this great post. Well, I’ve just started my business, and I’ve learned two things so far: 1) Listening to potential clients for a while, not rushing into providing services/products, has been great for me. I’m not worrying about making money right now (although it’s already starting to happen). I’m really just listening; and 2) partnering with people is a wonderful way to jumpstart everything.

  3. MartitaRobinson

    I love this!! Thank you!! Means so much to me right now. OXOX -Martita

  4. MartitaRobinson  I’m a spooky mind reader :)

  5. MaryJSchiller1  100x YES to listening as much as you can. It makes your job SO much easier! Love that one!

  6. slecomte45  You’re right! Running a business isn’t for everybody, and that’s ok. I think part of our responsibility is to respect each individual person’s choices – even if that choice a a cubicle for 40 years. It’s their life, not ours!

  7. MartitaRobinson

    I can totally tell!! ;)

  8. MelanieKissell

    Couldn’t Tweet these fast enough! (Love the Highlighter plugin you’re using) :)

    Collaboration and bartering are two platforms I stand on, Rebecca, so I’m grateful to learn how much you value partnering with others.

  9. Yes, yes, yes to all of these. The only thing I would expand on is the money stuff.  For me personally, I had to clear all kinds of money blocks before I started making money.  And? I have to keep at it because those old doubts and fears are super sneaky.  

    Awesome post Rebecca and I laughed at the last one about the camera being on, for me this really happened. One day I’ll share it. :)

  10. KateTraci

    Loved this, totally made me laugh! It’s so true. I especially like the “working from home and being able to take your pants off part” hahahaha Thanks Becca!

  11. Number 7 and 8 are my favorite!  Happens all the time. Like every single week!  I love this Becca!

  12. caitlin ariah  haha ohhh man, not leaving the house in the winter is just TOO easy!!

  13. KateTraci  I firmly believe that pants hinder creativity

  14. christianmarieherron  ABSOLUTELY about the money blocks. If you have issues with money, your business will too.

  15. MelanieKissell  Thanks Melanie! I’m still testing the plugin to see how I feel about it – glad you like it!

  16. aprilmlee

    LOVE this list, becca! especially #3 (because my goal for 2014 is to facilitate a retreat and i’ve been freaking myself out about it), #8 (i cannot explain my REAL online friends to my real life friends – i’ve tried), #9 & 13 (great reminders), and #29 (my favorite). thank you! :)

  17. aprilmlee  Thanks so much April!! Running a retreat is a GREAT goal! And it just so happens we will be running a retreat this summer that will help you  plan and run your own retreat. Would love to work with you in Whistler to make your retreat dreams happen!!

  18. aprilmlee

    Rebecca Tracey aprilmlee  hey, rebecca – that sounds great! how can i get more information?

  19. aprilmlee Rebecca Tracey  Keep your eye out on the blog and Facebook – we’ll launch April 7!

  20. CarmellaBell

    Luv, Luv, Luv this!! #1 is my big thing right now. I’m trying to practice being in the moment, making things happen and remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect!!!

  21. SamanthaSutherland

    what a great post!!!
    I love numbers 35 and 33. I’ve got a 5 month old baby and am also building my online biz. I was push push pushing then realised when I stopped, let it go, and let things flow that it happened SO much easier.
    It’s so inspirational hearing about you working all over the world, and I LOVE number 15, I’m always looking for people to collaborate with, and number 3 is great news, as I’m planning to run a retreat when bambeens is a bit older!

  22. SamanthaSutherland  doing it with kiddos is such a challenge!! All my mompreneur friends always tell me how must less they stress about the small stuff because they just don’t have time. You’ll get there, take your time!

  23. CarmellaBell  definitely! better to do something imperfectly than do nothing at all!

  24. heystephanie

    Love #28 and #30 is so true! Although I will say that older older blog posts was really me just rambling on Livejournal! ;)

  25. Naomi_Hattaway

    Love #27! Well, actually all of them but … 

    Good stuff, maynard.

  26. Elizabeth

    Excellent blog post. This is a great “kick in the ass”, which is what I clicked to get here. It is sooo easy to think that if I just ignore my family and stop leading my life so I can set my business up, it will all fall into place but there isn’t a rush and YOU’RE RIGHT. Ugh. So, here’s to showering daily, leaving the house and building a business that makes steady progress every day but that doesn’t have to be whipped up in a few weeks.

    My lesson to add, figuring out your business takes time. Your brain actually needs time to think about what you want and don’t want and process how it connects to what you think you want. All before you’re off making promises of what you can deliver. Guilty! Ha! Or getting sucked into 25 FB groups that consume your news feed so now you don’t see anything from the people you actually know and you’re always thinking about business when you really don’t know what you’re thinking about yet.