Changing your life is not always easy. But it is exciting! I’m 14 days into my personal life transformation and thought an update was in order. Right now I’m focused on training for a 500-mile bicycle ride, and building a business that will support me for this next chapter. It’s amazing to me how quickly things are changing, adapting, and how my mindset is more clear and more focused each day. In this update, I’ll share a bit about building a business, my first 20-mile ride, the amazing support network I’m finding online, and how riding is impacting my focus, creativity, problem-solving, mood, and overall mental well-being. I hope by experiencing what I’m doing, you’ll be empowered to change your own life as well.
Changing Your Life by Changing Your Career
I don’t think I want to go back to a corporate job. I’m not completely opposed but it would have to be a perfect fit for me. That being said, I feel an intense need to help others be successful. It feels like my purpose for being on the planet. And the things I do well are learning, and teaching others the skills I have found to be helpful. I have a unique ability to look at problems from a perspective rooted in experience and education and break that down into practical and tactical skills. So, I’ve decided to go all in to find a way to do that. And believe me when I say, this is a growth opportunity for me.
Narrowing the Focus & Committing to the Cause
I have struggled the past couple of years in figuring out how to narrow my focus, how to speak the language of my target audience, and how to be patient with very slow growth. It was only in the past six weeks that I started to look at everything differently and am seeing different results than I have in the past. Changing your life requires different approaches. Sometimes it just doesn’t work the way we planned so we have to be willing to try something else. Here are a few things I have changed regarding my business so far this year:
- I got very clear on my purpose. My purpose is to help as many people as possible succeed personally and professionally. My purpose is not fame and fortune, it’s to provide others with the knowledge and skills to be successful. Knowing this purpose drives all my actions each day.
- I started looking at each person who viewed content as a person that walked into my store today, that may come back tomorrow, and that hopefully got what they needed while they were here. I started thinking if I had a storefront and 40 new people came in today, I’d be pretty darn happy.
- I realized my target audience doesn’t search for content the same way I do and SEO is a real thing. So, I am learning a lot!
- I realized you shouldn’t expect to go “viral.” That’s like winning the lottery. It would be great, but it’s not my goal in creating content.
- I decided to give myself a reasonable amount of time (at least one year) to focus on this business and give it my all. I don’t want to live life with regrets and if I didn’t take this opportunity now, I’d always wonder “what if.”
- I’m more patient with my own learning. I did not have a lot of the skills necessary for my new life (videography, marketing, SEO, etc.) so I’m patient with my mistakes. Believe me when I tell you patience has never been a virtue of mine!
- It takes a LOT of marketing to get a hit. Marketing requires either time or money. You can’t expect to send an email to 50 people and get 20 responses. It takes thousands of contacts to get your name out there. Realizing this helped to level set my expectations so I don’t feel like a failure.
- Maybe the most important lesson I’m learning is the value of consistent and repetitive actions each day. You can’t expect to change your life by doing something for one day or even one week. It’s like eating a salad one day and expecting to drop 20 lbs. Of course, I’d like to grow faster but I figure if I’m growing each week, that’s a good sign. In the past, I would have gotten frustrated at the slow growth and taken that as a sign it wasn’t working.
My business plans are a work in progress but I’m encouraged about the direction it’s taking so far. Do I still doubt myself? Absolutely! Almost daily. I just keep reminding myself of my life purpose. It’s not the end of the world if I have to go find a job later this year but I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t give it my best shot. And I’m totally okay if my life purpose is to put this content out there and then go to work for someone else. I don’t mind at all, as long as I feel my purpose is fulfilled.
Changing My Life By Doing Different Things: First 20-Mile Ride
You’ll see in my original post, I haven’t ridden 20 miles in almost 20 years. Suffice it to say, this was a milestone! Yet I know to change your life, you have to change your actions.
It was a beautiful and unseasonably warm February day, 62 degrees. I’m still riding on gravel and flat roads. The wind was perfect, just a light breeze. I headed down the same path I’ve been riding for my 10-mile rides and just thought I’d go a mile farther down the road. And kept going.
I was both exhausted and exhilarated when I got home from that ride. And I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to walk the next day. It felt wonderful and I felt so accomplished!
I’m not gonna lie, I’m out of condition and was way more tired than I need to be for 20 miles. But I know that conditioning will come with time and continued riding and am looking forward to not being tired.
As I said earlier, I know to change your life requires consistency in making changes.
We All Need a Little Support
I’ve found a couple of support networks that are both encouraging and challenging for me. There is a Facebook group for each of the rides I’m signed up for and I’ve connected with a few people there. And I’ve found a community of cyclists on Mastodon (an alternative to Twitter) that are not only encouraging but are posting pics of themselves riding in snow and adverse weather. Seeing their pics challenges me to challenge myself a little more. I have very few people in my personal life encouraging me and no cyclists here to connect with so I’ve really valued this online support network.
How Cycling is Impacting My Life
I’m amazed at the clarity and focus I have for my work now. I’ve always had pretty good focus but cycling is impacting my thinking and creativity. It’s like I’ve added an hour of meditation to my day! I’m finding cycling to be a wonderful time to enjoy my surroundings and contemplate life. It’s opened up my creativity, problem-solving, and maybe most importantly, my confidence. Every time I can ride a little farther or against the wind, or in the cold, it reminds me that I’m capable of more than I realize and that gives me the confidence to take more risks. I love how great I feel and how I’ve been able to structure my day to maximize productivity in the morning so I can ride in the afternoon.
Oh, and a person could go bankrupt buying all the gear available to optimize their riding experience. I’ll share some of my purchases in another post. The week, the most important thing was earbuds. There’s absolutely nothing better than some motivational rock music when you are trying to push against the wind or suck it up in the cold.
While I’m only 14 days into this process, I’m getting pretty excited about what is yet to come! I know changing my life will require a lot of uncomfortable changes. But how exciting is it that we can do this at any time in our life? We can just say, “Yep, this is not the life I want anymore. I think I’ll get a new one.” That’s such an empowering concept to me! Some people react with “why in the world would you want to do that?” while others ask all about my training plan. I’m okay either way. It feels good to challenge myself in every area of my life at the same time. Who knows what might happen?!