What happened when I took “Radical Action”
I’m doing this video today because I wanted to talk to you about taking radical action in our lives or our businesses when there’s something really important to us that we want to achieve. As you know, I’m currently promoting Ann Wilson’s Financial Freedom University, and taking “radical action” is one of the things she talks about within that programme. As a result I’ve ended up talking about it quite a lot in the Facebook group that I set up to support people making a decision about joining.
And that’s got me thinking about those times in my life when I have taken radical action because there’s been something that has been very important to me.
Watch the video below or scroll down to read more.
I really think there are times in our lives when if we are really committed to something, then it makes sense to do something more “radical” in the interest of achieving those dreams and goals. I also know how easy it is for us to want to stay comfortable, in our familiarity zone. We want something new, but we don’t want to upset the status quo, and we have a natural human resistance, a fear of change, which means we don’t want to shake things up too much.
But sometimes what most serves us will be to have a really quite big radical change or shake-up or make a quite big decision that’s going to propel us forward.
So while I’m thinking about this and talking about it quite a bit this week, I thought I’d do this video to share four examples from my own business and financial life over the past few years where I feel I took what Ann would call ” radical action” in order to move towards something important to me. And I’ll also share what happened as a result, and maybe this will trigger you to ask yourself “is there something that I could be doing that is perhaps a little more radical than I’ve been considering that’s going to really help me to move forward in quite a big way?”.
Here are some examples of where I’ve taken radical action in relation to something that felt really important to me:
1. I moved to a town I didn’t even like
The first of these is that I moved to a town that I actually didn’t like, I didn’t want to live in, and I only knew one other person who lived there! I did it because I was so committed to getting my business off the ground. This was back in early 2012. I was living in Brighton and I was in the very early stages of setting up this business, but I was working in two freelance sales roles as a way to bring in the income. I got given notice by my landlady to move out of the flat that I was living in. During the time I’d been living there property prices and rental prices had shot up in Brighton so much and I knew that it was going to really hurt my business to have even more of a financial outlay every month.
I’d visited this town because I had a friend who’d recently moved there, and the first instinct that I had was this is definitely not a place for me – and I couldn’t understand why he’d moved there. But once I checked out property prices, I realised that moving there was going to enable me to give up one of those freelance sales roles that between them were taking up about five to six hours a day of my time. So I did it. I took the leap and moved to a completely new town where I only knew one person and I actually ended up living there for two full years while I grew my business.
What happened as a result was I was able to immediately give up one of those two freelance roles – the one that felt the most heavy and energetically draining for me. And a result of the new time but more importantly the extra energy that I had, that year I launched my first online programme, ran my first webinars, did my live speaking gigs up in London and started working with private clients. I got my business off to a really great start that year.
2. My first big investment in business mentoring
This one might not sound so radical at first glance because it’s so commonplace and many of you will have done this yourselves, but at the beginning of 2013 invested in a one-year business mentoring programme. The reason that was so radical was because in the previous financial year my newly off the ground business had brought in a total revenue of just under £7,000. Yet I made a decision to invest £6,000 in a one-year mentoring programme with somebody that I barely knew.
I think I’d got onto his mailing list about two weeks prior to that, didn’t know a great deal about him, but his sales emails and the telephone call I had with him, it just instinctively felt like the right thing to do so I took a leap of faith, put it on a credit card and signed up.
What happened as a result was that my business turnover went from just under £7,000 in 2012 to £118,000 in 2013 as a result of directly following his advice.
Now a lot of people hear that and they think that sounds amazing but I have to say that with hindsight I don’t recommend growing that fast at all! But it was still an amazing year for me.
3. I stopped running a programme that was my core income stream
The third radical action that I’ve taken that stands out for me happened at the end of 2016. By this point I been running a 12-month business mentoring programme for several years. I usually had about 20 people in that programme and I charged between £5,000 and £10,000 for the year depending on the level and depending on the payment plan. And it was a really good business model for me. I had one of those rinse and repeat business models where I knew that if I took certain action every year I would get certain end results and those end results resulted in a consistent business turnover of about £150,000 a year and it was pretty repeatable and predictable.
It was amazing on paper, it was beyond my wildest dreams. But there was something about it that just wasn’t quite right. It was this sense that there was something else out there for me, something even bigger and more exciting where I could have an even bigger impact. I didn’t really know what that was, but in the end I knew that as long as I continued to run that programme which took up a huge amount of my time, energy and attention I wasn’t going to be able to find out what really was possible for me. So at the end of 2016 I made a decision not to offer that programme, so I effectively made a decision to wipe out over £100,000 of my business revenue.
Now I did replace it with some things. I launched a much lower investment group mentoring programme that allowed me to still work with a certain number of clients, but there was still a really big financial impact for me of deciding to give that programme.
What happened as a result? Well, not a lot to begin with and it was a little bit hairy in those first few months of 2017 because I was thinking, “I know it was the right thing to give this up, but I can’t tell what’s coming next,” and I even had moments of thinking, “What if there isn’t a next for me? What if this is it for me in this business and it’s run its course and that’s it?”. It wasn’t until the end of March 2017 that I had that light bulb aha moment where I instantly knew that for me it was all about community, and also about being able to help many, many more people than I was able to help at the time, and for me that meant a membership community. And that started me off on a whole new path.
4. I downsized my home
Now the fourth radical action that I’ve taken in support of both my business and my financial goals was making a decision just over a year ago to downsize my home. This came about for two reasons. First of all, Financial Freedom University played a big part because the first time I workd with Ann Wilson at the beginning of 2014 what was apparent that was most important for me was that I needed to learn to enjoy money again, and to learn to reward myself for all the hard work I was putting into my business. I made quite a radical decision at that time to move back to London to a really nice area and nice house – no compromises.
However, when I revisited Financial Freedom University early last year it was clear to me that making much bigger progress towards my future financial freedom was a much higher priority to me than living in a nice house that was really way bigger than I needed as a single person.
But I also downsized because by now I’d become crystal clear about the membership community I wanted to create, and it felt important to me that I didn’t have really high outgoings that were going to lead me to make decisions in my business based on needing to bring money in when what I wanted to be doing was focusing on the long-term and developing the new membership.
So in May 2017 so not much over a year ago I downsized. I stayed in my local area but I’ve moved to a flat that’s a lot smaller. It’s not a complete compromise (I’m not sharing, that would be a step too far for me!) but definitely a big downsize in comparison to where I was.
What happened as a result is that amazingly I love this new flat way more than I loved the house and for all sorts of reasons. It’s very light and bright with big windows, and I think just the energy of it is beautiful, and although I’m London and I often feel like I’m living near the sea. So I actually prefer it, even though at the time it was a reall big and scary decision and I definitely had a lot of doubts about the move.
The other thing that happened was that it freed me up to be able to focus my energy on launching and growing that membership community without the distraction of needing to do other big launches to bring in other revenue streams. In other words the downsize freed me up to be able to make more long-term strategic decisions about my business. So since moving I’ve had a complete rebrand, and website redesign, really upped my game when it comes to creating regular content, had my biggest launch ever of the Get More Clients Saying Yes! course and then launched the new membership community to those participants.
I worked really hard on creating something that the members loved and launched it again to brand new members in May. There are now over 200 members of this community so we’re off to an amazing start, and I now have the financial foundations through the membership revenue to give me the platform from which I can continue to grow and improve it and find better and better ways to serve the members.
It sounds so easy looking back!
It’s so easy to talk about these things now with the benefit of hindsight and of those decisions having turned out to be good ones. But at the time each of these decisions felt huge, felt radical. It wasn’t “comfortable”. It wasn’t entirely what I wanted to do. It felt like too much of a risk. It felt too scary.
And yet every single one of these “radical decisions” has taken me a step closer to the long-term vision, and as a cumulative result of those four decisions I now have a business and a business model that I absolutely love, I’m living in a home that I love, and I’m well on track towards my long-term financial freedom.
So my question for you today is:
What are you committed to in your business or your life where you can see that taking radical action is the thing that will help you move towards it more quickly than you’re moving right now?
For each of you it will be something completely different, but if you know what that is and you’re happy to share, please go ahead and share in the comments below. I read all of them and I absolutely love hearing from you.
(And if you’re thinking of joining Financial Freedom University before it closes on Saturday, come along to the “Let’s Talk Money” Facebook group that I’ve created to help you work out if now is the right time for you to take radical action around your money life. Join us here.)
With Love & Gratitude,
I like the way you reached for things even if you weren’t really sure of the outcomes or how it would help you.
For me, I would say concentrating on one essential area and putting blinkers on for everything else.
I don’t want to be distracted by and grabbing at the progress buffet table. I want to focus.
It sounds like you connected with your inner wisdom when you made those decisions Catherine. And as you said it is somewhat of a paradox to remain comfortably uncomfortable in a situation that keeps us safe but still stifles and prevents our growth.
You continue to grow and offer very valuable advice and mentoring.
Keep up the good work!
Thanks Tony, and yes that’s a good point. I think when we connect with our wisdom the decision feels so clear – even if it’s a big one. I’ve made another quite radical decision this week but it feels so “right” that there’s really no room for doubting or prevaricating. It’s just right. And so true how staying comfortable prevents our growth. That reminds me that in the early days of my business I had a note stuck to my computer that said “Discomfort = a sign of growth”. It was something a mentor had said that stuck with me….
I’m in your most recent membership. This might not sound radical to you but the last two days I have been thinking about getting a cleaner! I work from home teaching 1 to 1 clients the Alexander Technique. I keep thinking, the first thing i’ll do when I’m making enough money is to get a cleaner. i had one when I worked full time before but they weren’t good. Yesterday a client told me how great his cleaners are and I now have their number but I haven’t rung it yet. I’m worried my husband won’t be happy as I only have 3 clients tops a week at the moment so I’ve got loads of time and I can’t guarantee I can pay for them from my business. But I think I’d devote much more time to reading, writing and networking if I had a cleaner.
Ooh, I totally approve on the cleaner front. It’s a “non-negotiable” for me especially as I work at home (prevents me feeling tempted to clean when I should be working!) and also because I’m working all week the last thing I want to do with my free time is cleaning. And of course, if it would free you do more networking or business development with schools then it would very quickly pay for itself. Maybe the radical action for you is booking one – then explaining to your husband after the event? 😉