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Welcome to Your Savvy Business, a podcast where experienced online coaches and service pros who want to unlock your next level in business without compromising your goals, priorities and values or sacrifice and your boundaries. I'm your host, Heather Crabtree Your Savvy Business Coach and Growth Strategist.
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I know you're not new to this business thing, friend, you're more than five years in and you feel like you should have everything figured out by now. But you've learned that every time you grow to new heights, new opportunities open up, and new challenges arise. Each chapter brings a new level of what the heck am I doing, and you wish you had someone to support you when things start to feel hard, or a business pro to help see your business in another light and decide what next steps to take.
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I am here to help. Well, me and some amazing friends who happen to be really good at their craft as well. You can think of me as your business coach and growth strategist in your back pocket, who can connect you to the most brilliant people and share the good, the bad and the I want to quit my business moments that we all have in our business, but usually never talk about. There will be laughs and tears and meaningful lessons revealed along the way. I hope you will hit subscribe and join us as we navigate business and life together. And you can hop over to Heather crabtree.com to learn more. Now let's jump into today's episode.
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I am thrilled to chat with you today about five things that five lessons I learned when I took a break from my coaching business. And I also want to say if you haven't listened to Episode One of my relaunched podcast we talked about, we started out on a on a on a brighter note on a happier note. Before we got really digging into this to this episode, but on the first episode, we talk about confetti moments with you season service Pro, and we talked about the small and big wins that you have in your business and are probably not celebrating. And the reason why is because we're you know, just going from one thing to the next one goal to the next goal without stopping and saying oh my gosh, like I'm proud of myself, or
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I'm really excited that I got there or just really celebrating the things that you've done. And so if you are someone who can relate to that, and you feel like you have not been celebrating yourself as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, and haven't taken the time to step back and really think about the small and big wins that you have had, I encourage you to go to Episode One. And check that out. And then connect with me on Instagram at Heather business coach and let's chat about those confetti moments that you've had that maybe haven't celebrated. But today I want to talk to you about the five lessons I learned when I took a break from my coaching business. So we're going to talk about five things actually have a bonus lesson. So six things that I learned from taking a break from my coaching business, and I first want to set the stage of why I took the break and why it was really, really important for me. So I took the break in 2020. So I need to step back a little bit for those of you who are new here. You might not know this, but my daughter was diagnosed with stage four cancer when she was nine, almost 10 and 2017. So the the year before and 2016 My business was booming. We
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I hosted I had been I was doing group programs, I had done a courses, I've done one on one coaching before that.
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And I had had a business, you know, before this business, and then I was an attorney. I worked for a law firm for a little bit before that. But I in this in this coaching business, I had done all those things. And then 2016 We had a group program that was running. I hosted a sold out conference. And then we launched at the beginning of 2017 we launched membership, and we launched it with like I think it was like 350 people. It was wonderful and all was well and then the next month in February of 2017.
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My daughter was diagnosed with stage four cancer and again she was nine almost 10 At that time
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So life changed, everything changed at that moment. But the I didn't really take a break in my business. I mean, I had to slow down and I had to cut out things, we ended up shutting down the membership, I think after a year and a half of doing it, because things were just so intense with my daughter's treatments. But in 2020, things just really got crazy. And for our family.
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And so I wanted to share those, because this is why I took the break from my business. And it taught me so much. And I'm so grateful for these lessons, although it was during the hardest year of most of our lives, probably. But in 2020, my daughter had relapsed from actually in 2019 into 2019, my daughter hadn't relapsed,
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and had to start cancer treatments again.
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I was also pregnant, I found out I was pregnant in August of 2019, unexpectedly at 43 years old. And we went through the first four months not being able to tell anybody because we didn't even know if we were going to be able to have the baby.
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Spoiler alert, we did and she's beautiful, and she's wonderful. And she's now three, her name is lavender. But
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all that was that those things were happening. And then COVID hit and actually hit like the week before or week of the day had Lavender at the hospital. And we also were buying a house at the same time. So
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I want to I want to I wanted to talk about this, even though it's, it's really hard for me to talk about, and I'll share a little bit more about in a minute why it's really hard for me to talk about right now.
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But I want to be really honest and open with you. And especially if you're new here, I want you to understand where some of my, you know, maybe thinking comes from and why I choose things the way I choose them or do things the way that I do them and the way that I coach the way that I coach, because to me, um, you'll hear through these episodes, I always talked about talk about and I've always had always have talked about, you know, making sure that your business fits within your life. And so that's really important to me, and at the center is my family. And so whatever family means to you, I always want that to be for me that is that is where the core, that's where everything comes from. And so that become that is first and foremost. And so in 2020, as we were going back through cancer treatments, as I was having a baby, as COVID hit, as we were buying a new house, and then you know, all the funding fell through because of COVID hitting and it was a it was it was a nightmare. Quite honestly, all of it was happening at once. Then I had we were started homeschooling my son, we were already homeschooling my daughter said she was in cancer treatments, and couldn't go to school. And I just felt like I don't know how I'm going to do this, my husband and I were working from home already. I've always worked from home. But my husband was working from home because we for the last, you know, three years we had been
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back and forth to the hospital, you know, every week,
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some days months at a time or some some some of the parts of the year, months at a time. And so we work from home because a lot of times home was actually in the hospital. So
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all that to kind of set the stage of why I took the break in my business.
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But I wanted to share. I know that's all a little heavy, a lot heavy. And 2020 was really hard for a lot of people I know most of the world in one way or another. And so I don't I don't talk about it lightly because I know it can bring up things for everyone. And so
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I just want to share kind of what we were going through as hard as it is to share and as hard as it probably is to hear it's such a fun story to tell.
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And it gets a little a little harder to to hear. So I just want to preface with that before I move forward. But
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all that was happening. And so I took a break from my business. And
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these are the lessons that I learned why I took that break during that time and I want to say I say I took a break. I actually still had clients but I didn't take on any more clients. So I was running a program. At the time. It's called your Savvy Business circle and I had a group that I had in that at Everton at the time. It
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was an evergreen program, but I just started stopped taking new people in it. And so at the time, it was a 12 month program. And so the people that were in it,
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they, you know, were in it until their time ended. And then I didn't take on any more clients during that time for the year and a half, but I had them throughout most of that year and a half, I just didn't take on any new clients, or members of any group program or membership or anything. So that was new, because I was always, you know, I got excited, I'm an entrepreneur at heart, I've been an entrepreneur, most of my adult will all of my adult life almost, except for the first few years of being an adult. And it's really all I know. And so it felt really
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weird for me to take a break. And not I don't mean a break in that, like, you know, I wasn't taking time off and taking time for my family, because I definitely was I'm very much again, I'm much a family first person. But when I did this, this is lesson number one that I learned.
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And I knew this, like, logically, I know this, but this was such a hard thing for me. And I, you know, I had to talk to my therapist, I've been in therapy now for five years. So I had been in therapy for a few years before we had to have this conversation. But so I had moved through a lot of things that had happened in my life. But this one felt really different and in such a different way. And that is, the less the feeling that I had was Wow, without being an entrepreneur without my business, even though I was still in it. I still had clients, but it wasn't taking anybody on new on.
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Who am I without this. And I realized that
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I identified so much of my identity was given to being an entrepreneur. And by stepping out of you know, stepping back from my business, some and I actually ended up doing that for a year and a half. So all through 2020 in half of 2021.
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And the lesson that I learned again, I know this logically, but to actually say it and understand it was being an entrepreneur is not your full identity. Let me say that, again, being an entrepreneur is not your full identity. And I see so many entrepreneurs, so many business owners that I work with and that I've worked with in the past. And people that I talked to that have been in business for a long time. And I think if it was taken away from them or something happened where they couldn't work in their business, they would have this same feeling because it it, I don't want to say it consumed me because again, I knew my priorities, I had my priorities in line, I knew what was important, what really mattered. I learned that a long time ago when I was in my early 20s, and my father passed away and I had to kind of come to grep you know, I had to grasp, like all that that was happening. But during this time,
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I just felt like wow, like I like I wasn't good enough. If I didn't have the entrepreneurial part of me happening to mind you, I was still doing business. But I just had stepped back a lot and I wasn't launching anything new and I wasn't you know, promoting, I wasn't showing up on on social, I wasn't doing all those things that came along with being the business owner. So if this is you, and you know you have a lot of your identity wrapped up and being an entrepreneur, I want you to step back because I had to do a lot of work, inner work on myself, 2020 and 2021 were huge years that I had to do so much inner work to heal, to unlearn to you know, relearn to just be critical about the way I had learned and the way I had treated myself and how I thought about myself and all these things were coming up. And this one of being an entrepreneur, but who was I without that?
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It was big. So if you've have that feeling, or if you tie so much of your identity to your entrepreneur, to being an entrepreneur in something happened, where that wasn't available anymore. How would you feel and I know a lot of you have because I've talked to a lot of people, they would feel a certain way about it and wouldn't know what to do. And so I had to learn what to do and I had to learn how to heal that part of me and how to really be a whole
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Human, even if I didn't have that business part, now,
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I love my business and I don't want to be without it. I really, really love what I do. I love coaching, I love strategy. I love helping people, you know, grow their businesses, but
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I am not
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just an entrepreneur, I am so many other things. So that was Lesson number one being an entrepreneur is not your full identity. This might resonate with you, I'm guessing it's gonna resonate with a lot of you listening to this. Let me repeat that, again, being an entrepreneur is not your full identity. So don't let that and here's the reason why that is so important. Because usually when is your full identity, things happen like this.
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I want to make a million dollars, I don't make it. As an entrepreneur, I fail, I fail as a human being, I'm, I'm not worth worthy. That's what happens, this kind of spiral happens when you tie your identity to one thing. For me, I had tied so much of myself to being an entrepreneur, being a business owner. And again, I was still a business owner, I was still an entrepreneur, I was actually even working with people, but because I wasn't doing these typical things, like I normally would have been doing as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, I felt less than and so I had to heal that part of me and really
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think, look, put a critical, you know, thinking critical lens on what, why was that happening. And peel back those layers, and realize that so much of my identity was tied to being an entrepreneur. And if I was, you know, it's what happens is, if you're not doing well, and all of us have those periods in our business journey, if you're not doing well, then you are not worthy as a human being. And that's just not the truth, right. So that's where we have to disconnect that disconnect, disconnect those two things, were being an entrepreneur is not your full identity. Okay, so that was, that was Lesson number one that I learned. Lesson number two, that you need to be versatile. So versatility in your business is imperative. And I have always been open and versatile in you know, flexible and how I'm doing things I'm pretty. I also lean into curiosity and what it would look like to do, you know, things in a different way. But sometimes life throws you curveballs that you don't get to make that choice, right. And so when my daughter was diagnosed, diagnosed with cancer, and then when her cancer came back, and
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even recently, this part is hard to say.
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Even recently, in the past few months, he actually passed away. And
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yeah, it's just, it's changed me as a human being again, and it's changed the way I look at running my business again. And it really made me think, again, about how I want my business to look and, and this happened to when I when I took the break in in 2020, and 2021. And
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I think a lot of us have been
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shown a certain way to run your business, and even when it doesn't feel good, because that's the way we've been told. And whatever that way is, you know,
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we have to be versatile. First of all, just be really critical and seeing why why do we think we have to run our business that way, like we can run it the way we want to run it, and it can fit within our life. And it can also provide amazing value to clients, members, customers. But being versatile means when you have to shift and adapt, and sometimes pivot. Being okay with that. I understand that it's difficult. But what I learned was is that I needed to be, I needed to be versatile in how I was going to set my business up. After coming back is what when this happened, when I came back, I thought okay, it can be whatever I want it to be right. But I think when you're in the thick of it and when you're when you're in business and I again, I had been in business for so long. I've been a business owner since my early 20s. There wasn't that I never I shouldn't say there wasn't. I never made the time to step back and just pause and just think about what do I want my next
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Steps to be always felt like there was another thing, another thing, another thing, and you're just on to the next thing. And I know a lot of you can relate to this, because I see it happening, you're just on to the next thing. And you're tied to what your business is right now. Because you think that's the way it has to be.
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Again, this lesson that I learned is that versatility in your business is imperative. You need to be versatile, you need to be willing to step back and go, You know what, that's not the way I want this to go. I get to steer the ship here. And if how it's feeling in your business right now isn't aligning with how you want to live your life, then we got to take a critical eye and look at, okay, how can we shift this? How can we adapt? How can we evolve our businesses so that they can align with the way you want to live your life, and that could be you know, could be you're in a different season right now. So that looks different. I see a lot of this, a lot of times when you know, people are having children, or they're having to take care of their, you know, parents or someone in their family, or
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they're moving or, you know, they're traveling more all these things that come up in life, right? It's life. And we remain rigid, and this is how we have to do it. But it doesn't fit with how it that doesn't fit with our life, and how will work. And so
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I just want you to think about how can you be versatile? How can you adapt? How can you evolve? How can you shift things, so that your business does line up with the life that you want to live, and your business fits in with your life, instead of you having to fit your life into your business. So that was number two, versatility and your business imperative. Want to be part of a community of experienced coaches and service pros who want to grow their business with intention, head over to Heather crabtree.com, not only for the show notes to this episode, but also to get your copy of my digital magazine, business minded, a business magazine for experience online coaches and Service Pros, where business education, collaboration and community meet to help you unlock your next level and business and make sure you're subscribed to the podcast. And if you're loving it, I would love for you to leave a review, it means so much to me. And it's helpful to know you're listening and what you're loving. Okay, now, let's get back to the show.
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Now, the next one I kind of talked about already. But the next one is really taking
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a step back, as I was saying inverse versatility kind of lends a hand to this. And that is viewing your business from a critical lens. So a lot of times again, as business owners, when we're starting to build our business, we do it the way that we see other people doing it, the way we've been coached or mentored or the way our peers are doing it, our colleagues are doing it. And unfortunately, sometimes what happens a lot of times what happens is that you end up building a business that doesn't run the way it needs to run for you and again, your life. And so that alignment isn't there, and you're trying to fit the way you're running your business and to the way that you're running a life, you're the way you want your life to be. But you haven't set it up. So you haven't your offers are not aligning with that your systems and processes and workflows are not aligning with that your who you have on your team or don't have on your team is not aligning with that the way your marketing is not aligning with that. And so, as we go along, a lot of what I do when I help when I coach and strategize with business owners who have been in business for five or more years, is we have to go okay, let's step back, let's take a critical look. And critical look doesn't mean like, Ugh, oh my gosh, my business look at this, that a critical look, just means we're going to step back. And we're gonna look at it. And we're going to pause and we're going to disconnect ourselves from the business for a second and just go, okay, is this working? Take an objective view and say, Is this working for you? Is this working? Is your business working for you? And a lot of times what's happening is it's not, but you don't take the step back, you don't view your business with that critical lens and you don't take a moment to step back to really understand how it can be different. Because you're in the, you know, gotta get to the next thing. Gotta get to the next thing, gotta get to the next thing. So I want you to pause and take this critical look at your business and go Is it working for me? Because a lot of times you're saying it's working for me
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If they're they're getting so much value, and they're getting so much stuff, and they're loving it and transformations and all of this, but then I see business owners going, but it's so much work for me or it's not working the way I need it to work or, you know, my life or this, my life has changed or the season, this part of my life, the season in my life is different. And so things have to be set up differently. And that's okay. We get to choose what this looks like. Right? So three is view your business from a critical with a critical lens, okay?
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Number four, that I learned, which again, I've always operated from, but it just reinforced this, and that is relationships will always matter. So I think a lot of times,
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we see the shiny new thing out there, we see the trends, we see how can we do this quicker? How can we get the gratification the instant gratification from something, and what I encourage you to do is slow down again, and build relationships, relationships will always win, relationships will always matter. We are humans, we need connection, we need community. And we need to build relationships. And I know that this is how I know it matters so much. Because people recently this has kind of always happened since I've started my coaching business. And this would happen when I when my other business too. But and this is just not like a hey, look, you know, Heather, you're awesome. I, a lot of people are, you know, are like this, and you're in their business. And you're probably like this too, but I want you to lean heavier into it. Because I think and that's this building these relationships, and really having these strong relationships with people and treating humans as human beings, not as another number in your business to get to another revenue goal, right? Those are all great. But if you're not taking care of the humans that that are, you know, buying from you and purchasing, then that doesn't matter, right?
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And so I want you to think about how you are connecting with your audience, how are you connecting with your people? How are you connecting with your clients, and really hone in on those relationships. And what I was going to say is that how I know it matters so much is that people come back to me now and go, cash I met you six years ago, I remember we met eight years ago. And
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we still I still have those relationships with people, people are coming back now where I coached before and now I'm coaching them at a different level that happens all the time, actually. And that's because I built relationships with them. So I want you to lean heavily into that because I felt like oh, by the way, I was able to why I'm saying this is a lesson that I learned is because I had always leaned heavily into building relationships. But I think we went through this phase, especially in the online kind of business world where everything became automated. And it was how can you make it faster? How can you make it quicker? How can you do it? With less effort? How can you do it with less of you being in it? And while I think there are ways that, you know, we need to streamline and we need to create workflows, and then you know, make it automate our business in certain ways. I think we went way too far, and myself included. And we started being disconnected from what people needed in their business. And so I want you to lean heavily back into what does it look like to have deep relationships with your clients, with your members, with your customers. And once you really lean into that,
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I promise you good things will come from it.
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Now I I know I really dig into my clients and what their needs are and we talk about everything, not just business. And so I love that and that's my personal that's how I love to be in relation with people. And so maybe that's not you, maybe you don't want to you know, get deep into every person, a personal relationship with everyone and that's that's totally cool. But still treating people as human beings and remember as you create your client customer journey that
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you know thinking about how can I build that relationship? How can I make this stronger relationship? How can I care about my people? How
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Can I care about the humans that are purchasing and buying from me, and that's where that relationship really matters. So that's number four. Okay, I've to one more, and then a bonus one.
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So this next one, I want you to really think about
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what your skill set is, right? And lean into that. Because I think also, I think, what I think what happened was, and what is still kind of happening, especially in the coaching world, it became a lot about what appearances and meaning what, you know, what are the material things that you had? What does your life look like? And I always used to joke and I would be like, boy, if I had to rely on just like lifestyle marketing.
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No one would want to purchase from me, because every night I was in the hospital, half the nights eating ramen at midnight, listening to the beeping machine. And I know that's not funny. So I'm not I'm not laughing about it, although I kind of have to laugh about it. So I don't cry some days. But that's a whole other thing.
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But I was like, Uh, no one would ever purchase from me if that's what I relied on. And so I think we have to lean back into, you know, what is your skill set and be okay? And be be really excited that you're really good at what you do. I know, I'm really good at what I do. I'm a really, really great growth strategist, I'm really good at you know, helping people in their business, I'm a great connector, I am a good coach, because I care about people I care about, not only their business, but what they're going through. And you know, what, like, with the life they want to live and helping them get there. But you need to lean into your skill set, right? And not, and maybe you're not doing this, maybe you're already saying like, yeah, I just needed my skill set, I'm really good at what to do I sell that. But we lean so much into selling the appearance of, of, we're good at what we do, right? Thinking that whatever is what people need to see. And what people really need to see is that
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you can solve their problem or get them to their greatest desire, right.
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And that you care about them as a human being. That's it. And then then the second part of it is to continue to be a student. I also got into a place where I realized I was talking to my therapist one day, and I was like, you know, I don't see myself as like an egotistical person. But I was like, my ego kind of got the best of me there for a little bit in my business thinking like, you know, we were going from one thing to the next I was peeking and I was just business was going great. And then life hit. And then again, that whole thing of like being an entrepreneur is not your full identity came about but also that like, I need to be a student again. And I really need to remember what that feels like. And I've been I've always been a student, I've always been a learner, I love learning. And I know a lot of you here are the same. But we can't just lean on the skill set that we have, we have to continue to learn we have to continue to develop those skills, we have to sometimes unlearn those skills that we were taught in order to be better as just human beings but also better in our business. And, and not just the skill set in what you do. So not just me as you know, a business strategist, but also really leaning in and learning and being a student for myself, like what did I need to work on internally so that I can be better for the people that I was serving. And so number five, the lesson is lean into your skill set and continue to be a student. Don't let the ego jump in and say, You don't need to learn anymore. Like people are, you know, people are
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this I feel like this is what happens when we kind of get
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in the Hey, again, I saw this a lot as an observer while I was stepping out of my business setting, you know, kind of back from my business seeing everyone that had become like a celebrity quote unquote, celebrity in the online business space and and seeing how some of them really rode that and was like, they didn't need to do any work on themselves. Like everyone just kissed their feet and love them. And it's like no, we all need to be in a place where yes, we lean in tourists.
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They'll set and we know we're good at what we do. But also continue to be a student and learn and work on yourself. And a lot of that is like, for me was healing, because so many things had happened in my life and I needed to, to heal my my inner traumas and some things that were happening to really be better at my, my skill set, right be to enhance it, and also just to be better as a human being. So those are my five lessons, let's run through them real quick. Again, one being an entrepreneur is not your full identity.
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What else makes you up, let's, let's think about that. And let's really lean into that. So that if there ever was a time that something happened, and you had to step out of your business, you are still a full human, and you're going to be okay with that. Number two, versatility in your business is imperative. We have to be versatile, we have to adapt, we have to evolve, we have to continue to do that you can't remain stagnant in your business, or you will,
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people will move on.
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Number three, view your business from a critical lens, which also means you have to pause and step back with an objective view and go, what is in my business, what needs to change what is out completely out of alignment with who I am, because probably it was taught to you or said it needs to be this way, and it's not really working for you. So view your business from a critical lens, number four relationships will always matter. So take care of those relationships. Number five, lean into your skill set and continue to be a student. And then this number six is a bonus lesson.
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Take a breath, have fun. And remember why you started in the first place. And when I was taking that break,
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I had to take lots of breaths, because there was so much stuff going on. But also from my business to really understand the way I was able to learn these lessons was to step back and take a breath and realize I want to have fun in my business. I want this to be a joyful thing. And I think being in especially being in corporate America, a lot of people are saying I don't like what I do. You know, I know there's there's might be you listening, or there's people out there that love what they do. And I love that for you. But there were people, you know, when I was growing up, I felt like it was always like, I don't like my job. I don't like what I do. And that was like the standard. You were not supposed to like what you did. And I love what I do. I really just I love serving people, I love thinking of how I can help them grow their business. And help them fit that business into their life in the way that is giving for their for their life and their business. But I needed to remember like, take a breath, it's okay, like just step back, take a breath. Have fun, how can this be fun? How can this business be fun, it should have a fun element into it, we should be able to enjoy what we're doing. And if you're not, again, take a step back.
Heather Crabtree 38:19
And remember why you started in the first place. And for me, that was because I wanted to be able to have time with my family. The reason I did not continue in law was because for me, it wasn't filling my cup. It wasn't I love the education, I did not like the practice of it.
Heather Crabtree 38:38
And I really wanted to start a family and I was just like, I can't see this aligning. And that doesn't mean that can't work for you, if that's who that's you. But for me, it was not in alignment with where I wanted my life to be. And so I thought about, okay, you know, I want to start I started my business to have that flexibility to be able to be there for my kids, and my husband and my family, and really make that a priority. And that has always been the priority. But we're just remembering that is why you started. And so when we get to, you know, 56789 10 years in our business, and it feels like wow, that isn't happening. We have to look at it and go, Okay, why is that not happening? And what changes do we need to make in order for that to happen? Because we shouldn't be able to run this business in a way that fits within our life. So that bonus lesson is again, take a break or take a break, take a breath.
Heather Crabtree 39:44
Have fun, and remember why you started in the first place. So I hope this is helpful for you the five lessons I learned when I took a break from my coaching business, because I was actually able to step back and
Heather Crabtree 40:00
and see what I needed to really concentrate on what I needed to focus on what I needed to
Heather Crabtree 40:09
change and my business in order for me to continue on in it. And it really, you know, again fit within my life. So thank you for showing up today for listening to this episode. I can't wait for the next episode all about how to align your business model with your life. And if you're not following me yet over at Heather, business coach over on Instagram I'm at Heather business coach, come on over let's start chatting. I can't get wait to get to know you better over there. I love to chat in the DMS with voice notes and, and texts and all the fun things. So let's connect there and I will see you next time. That wraps up another episode of your savvy business. Thank you for spending your time with me today. Until next time, my friend