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What I Learned in August
A monthly reflection on where we’ve been and where we’re going
A few weeks ago, I shared that I’m reinventing myself and the Roadpreneur brand. Those of you who reached out to me privately to share your thoughts (you can DM me anytime on Instagram) or commented here shared one sentiment — it’s about time someone shines a light on the need to shift.
We, as business owners, are tired. Tired of trying to fit into molds. Tired of listening to all the gurus and not getting results. Tired of doing the “shoulds” and following the shiny objects only to get … a drop in the bucket financially in exchange for our efforts.
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And the market is tired of the marketing games, too.
Perhaps that’s why we’re in the midst of what I’m calling a great shift. As a 12-year entrepreneur, I’ve been around the proverbial block with business building. Still, 2023 has been an odd year for so many. Not 2020 odd, but odd in that there’s a grand awakening to a new way of reaching others and making a serious difference with their business.
I promised to use this space to get vulnerable with you as I shared this journey out of traditional online coaching and into a new business model — e-commerce. The hope? In starting over again, I can “send the ladder back down” to share what’s working and what isn’t in this grand shift.
This newsletter is for others like me, eager to get to that next level but unsure of the path. These monthly reflections will help us each continually recalibrate on that journey.
On the first Wednesday of each month, I’ll reflect on what I did the month prior. In sharing this, I hope you may take some elements of my process and infuse them into yours. It’s a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats mentality that I hope will elevate us all.
With that in mind, here’s what I accomplished and learned in August.
What Happened in August
Before I get into the lessons learned, I like to take a moment to look back at what I did this month. I invite you to do the same quick reflection. This exercise is valuable because we often get so wrapped up in the day-to-day that we forget to celebrate what we accomplished.
Here’s what I did this month (and wow, was this one a doozy):
1. Announced the closure of Roadpreneur School
This accomplishment was bittersweet on so many levels. A year ago, I created a space for others to come together and build a business that lets them RV. Over the year, I got to know so many amazing people through the program and witnessed their growth, frustration, and emotion. It was an honor, but it’s time for the doors to close. I officially announced that decision in August. While it was sad (I immediately went into my home gym and lifted weights to work out that nervous energy), it was also right. Sometimes the hard decisions are the best ones.
2. Raised my freelance rates
Why is it that women, especially, struggle to ask for more? This month, I had another moment where I had to go to the garage to work out the nervous energy. This time, it was after raising my rates. It was time, yet I felt bad making the request. Silly, right? If I had been a student in my program, I would’ve pushed myself over that edge long ago.
The result? Everyone agreed without hesitation. It was time.
3. Invested in myself
To make a major splash in the wholesale space for my business, I invested in a course that hyper-focused specifically on this strategy. This investment feels like a big deal. It’s the first step toward making the big lofty dream of mine (to be in campground stores across the USA) a reality.
4. Started more serious marketing of my upcoming book
I’m co-authoring a book with three other women, and we’re in the finishing stages. The pages have been filled (and oh, boy, are they good!). As the final edits are made, we’re sharing some insight ahead of its publication date in November. Tomorrow, we’ll hold our second coffee chat with you. Going forward, we’ll also have exciting workshops and chances to build community together. Join in the fun here (it’s free).
Interwoven in the accomplishments, many lessons were learned along the way.
1. People don’t care as much as you think they do (and that’s a good thing)
I’ve often given this advice to my students who fear putting themselves out there.
What will people think?
What will my friends think?
Will they judge me?
What about Internet trolls?
The last point isn’t one I can argue with. Trolls are there, and they will find you. The entitlement some people feel to tell you how to run your business, live your life, or show up in this world is out there, and it’s real. The good thing is, you don’t have to listen.
The first three points are valid concerns, though. I was nervous about the reaction when I emailed the Roadpreneur School students and when I posted on social media. It’s always hard to make announcements about a closure, even when you know it’s for the greater good. What if others think you’re a failure for stopping? What if they think you’re giving up? What if…?
Fortunately, those what-ifs didn’t surface for me (at least that I could see). Instead, I was only met with a wealth of support and encouragement.
Lesson Learned: Put yourself out there. Share your ideas. Share your thoughts. Lead from the front. The people who matter won’t look at you with a negative lens. Instead, you can inspire others in a new way by showing up as YOURSELF. And that concept of showing up vulnerably, my friends, is powerful.
2. Trust your gut and stand in your worth
Remember that raise I asked for? The morning after asking for it, I read a news story about the American Airlines flight attendants in the same position, asking for the same percentage raise after the same amount of time since their last raise. I felt justified in asking, but I didn’t need that story. It was just time to stand in my worth.
Lesson Learned: My gut (and your gut) is often right about these things. Trust it and GO.
3. Putting skin in the game is one way to reignite your internal fire
I admit. Investing money when I’ve just canceled some of my big money makers was a step I was nervous about taking. Still, it was an important one. I wanted to do this the right way. I wanted to save myself time, energy, and effort moving into an industry and business model I know little about (other than how desireable it is). I wanted that support and confidence building.
Within 24 hours of the course starting, I couldn’t sleep because the excitement was too much (I call that a good problem to have). I could see the path forward. I could see what life would look like on this journey. I could see the possibilities. And I could see that I was in the right hands.
Lesson Learned: It’s scary to drop a chunk of change on yourself. As women in particular, we worry about investing in ourselves, let alone our businesses. Still, those smart investments often lead to faster paths forward if we do the work. We don’t have to hustle, but we must show up and try.
4. Collaboration feels really good
Collaborating on that joint book project feels good. But, I admit. At first, I was scared. Scared it would take up too much time and then fizzle out. Scared we wouldn’t align on our vision for the message. Scared we’d enter into a scuffle or two. Scared it would turn out like some of my team projects in college, where I ended up doing all the work.
Instead, the opposite happened. We teamed up, linked arms, and each leaned into our zones of genius. It’s been a beautiful experience and one I hadn’t anticipated last year at this time.
Lesson Learned: Collaboration lightens the load, shows you new opportunities, and allows you to grow in a way that feels good. Whether you’re collaborating on a book like me, collaborating with someone else to bring an idea to life, or even collaborating as an affiliate for a program/product you believe in, seek out those partnerships. They’re invaluable.
Start - Stop - Continue
Every month in the Roadpreneur School, I asked my students to reflect on what they were stopping, starting, and continuing for the month ahead. You’re invited to do the same and post it below. Here’s mine.
I’m going to start being more intentional about social media. For a while, I wanted to believe that it was fizzling out in the marketing world, but having taken a giant step back, I no longer believed that to be true. Instead, it’s part of a bigger creator flywheel (one I plan to share about in a few weeks), so I will start back up again with a more systematized strategy.
I’m going to stop the self-doubt. It’s never served me well.
I will stop listening to certain voices that don’t get this journey. Not everyone will (especially spouses), and that’s okay.
And I will stop what isn’t working or feeling good anymore. It’s important to focus that energy where you feel pulled.
I’ve gotten quite a good start on my wholesale journey for Cruisin’ + Campfires, and I will continue to lean into that process full steam ahead. So much is happening behind the scenes, and I cannot wait to bring you the details as it moves from behind the curtain and into the world.
Thank you for letting me be vulnerable with you.
Thank you for valuing the evolution of how we approach business.
Thank you for showing up fully as yourself in this world allowing others to learn from and grow alongside you.
Creating a business that lets you live life today rather than wait for retirement is a gift, and I’m excited to share this journey with you.
As always, I’ll see it and respond if you comment below. Let’s continue the conversation and support each other in these new ventures.
Roadpreneur is a reader-supported publication. If you find this exercise valuable, consider buying me a cup of coffee and support my work by becoming a free or paid subscriber.