Warning: The following post focuses on Disney movies and magical singing princesses. If this type of content offends you, please click away now. Seriously, go watch some cat videos or see what Kimye are up to.
Good? OK, let’s go.
It’s already April, and I’m still humming the songs from a movie musical that came out nearly 6 months ago.
Of course, I’m talking about Disney’s Frozen. This is no surprise to my loved ones because they all know I’m a huge Disney fan.
Before you roll your eyes and mutter something about how that movie is freakin’ EVERYWHERE and there are a hundred million blog posts, tribute videos, parodies, and fan art clogging the web…just hear me out.
Would you believe that this kids’ cartoon is a lot like my business? It’s true.
There are no talking snowmen in my office, but the themes in Frozen relate to how I run things around here.
I joined Molly’s Elevate Mastermind to improve my life coaching business. While my business wasn’t hopeless, it wasn’t exactly thriving either.
My little startup was moving forward, but it was definitely more of a limp than a solid stride.
Molly helped me see that much of my struggling was caused by my tight grip on expectations.
In other words, I couldn’t let it go.
I wanted a hundred comments on each blog post, for everyone on my subscriber list to sign up for a free call, for everyone who had a free call to sign up for my most expensive package, and more and more.
You know, I felt like a scheming villain with a curly mustache who was always plotting how I could make everyone I encountered become a paying client. Except I don’t have a mustache. (OK, I do have a little one. What can I say, I’m Italian!)
But every time I got turned down or launched a product that no one would buy, it was like hearing Hans’s sinister voice in my head, “Oh Sage. If only there was someone out there who loved you!”
My business was getting no love. And it was my fault.
I can see now that I had unrealistic expectations about my business and how to get clients. Like Anna being so desperate for love that she expected to meet “the one” and get engaged the same day, I thought that people would hear about my services and immediately open their wallets.
Nuh uh. Real life doesn’t work that way.
And it’s sad because entrepreneurs are often told the fairy tale that you’ll start a business and instantly be making millions of dollars. Hey, if that big shot could do it, so can I!
But those situations are one in a million, just like finding “the one” on the dance floor. Hmmm…well, that is how I found my husband, but that’s a story for another day.
The harder I held on to those unrealistic expectations for my business, the more things slipped through my fingers.
For the Elevate Mastermind, we’re supposed to choose a word for the year. I chose OPEN because it was completely out of character for me, but I was so tired of trying to force my business to be a success.
Like the ice queen Elsa, I had to “let it go” and stop caring what people thought and stop doing things the way I was told I had to. I couldn’t be the good girl or perfect coach.
I had to be open to being me…and be OK if people didn’t like me.
Slowly this year, I’ve shifted nearly every aspect of my business. I dropped products and services that didn’t feel good to me and I rebranded my business to align with my true personality.
It felt amazing! Like singing on a snowy mountain top.
I also started writing about who I am as a person, including my anxiety attacks as I mentioned in my previous Stratejoy post.
By March, I let go of even more expectations. I gave away free calls just to be a helpful coach—without any ulterior motives or expectations. I promised myself that I would let things unfold naturally.
And I think that’s what my followers had been waiting for me to do all along. I’m now almost fully booked with clients, and there’s a new sense of joy in my work.
Like they sing in Frozen, “love is an open door.” But my business is an open heart.
PS, I’m Sage and I like warm hugs.
WITH LOVE FROM
Sage, Life Editor, Wife, 2014 Elevate Sister
Sage Grayson is a professional Life Editor who helps ambitious career women edit their habits, routines, and mindsets to balance their happiness at work and home. On lazy Sundays you can find her reading her more than 30 magazine subscriptions and enjoying cups of jasmine green tea. She lives in the suburbs of San Francisco with her husband Chris and pit bull Skyla. You can find Sage at SageGrayson.com, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.