May 2017: On living after abuse + growing a business

I realized that one of my faults is that I tend to live quarter to quarter.

I make a lot of short term goals that make money or give me short term happiness, but nothing that drives me for a better tomorrow.

But I need to get really serious for a minute, now.

I never thought I'd live this long. 

I'm a recovered self-mutilator of 10+ years. 

I grew up in a violent household where I woke up each day wondering if it would be my last day.

And though it's been a decade since I left that house, I always have this looming shadow over me that I don't deserve to be happy.

That I'm unworthy of success, that I'm not good enough to be loved, and that my inability to be close to most human beings, makes me less-than.

So I never made plans. 

I've been praised and praised for how quickly I got things done, but the truth is, I work like today will be my last day.

And when it's not done, I get nauseating anxiety that I'm leaving the world letting someone down. 

But, I haven't lived like that for a few months now.

Step 1: the "five year PLAN"

Giving myself permission to accept that I will be breathing and living, 5 years from now, is a terrifying thought.

So, when I created a vision board of my "Five Year Plan" on Trello, it made those plans real.

Five year plan on Trello

I categorized my life into 4 lists:

  • How I wanted my home life to look (family, my kids, where we live...)
  • What I wanted my work life to look like (who I work for, what I do...)
  • What my health looks like (what I eat, exercise, recreation...)
  • And who I am, in general (values, what I look like, what I wear, what people say about me)

And instead of anxiety about LIVING, I felt joy.

Just sheer, absolute joy.

Changes to the business

I'm now fionabenjamin.com though still Filled With Gold LLC. I decided to go back to using my name since I always felt that *I* am the core of my business.

Also, I have officially closed down my virtual assistance side of business.
I am taking on zero more clients and I am no longer working with any other clients besides Maya Elious

Step 2: 12 week years

I've been reading and following the process of the book, The 12 Week Year

I broke down pieces of my 5 Year Plan and picked three things I could work on for the next 12 weeks.

12 week year on Trello

For this quarter, I chose:

  • Building my e-mail list to 1,000 (through webinars, Facebook, and blog)
  • Create my first small product for $27 - finished!
  • Getting my driver's license - PASSED ON THE FOURTH TRY!

It's important for me to build my e-mail list because I don't really like social media, but I value closeness. I like the one on one relationship I have with people that e-mail me.

Creating a small product is also important because in my 5 Year Plan, I can't see myself working with anyone besides Maya. I don't want to.

So I decided to release the other relationships and supplement that income with something passive - which is why I'm beginning to create digital products.

As for my driver's license... I'm 26... I'm tired of asking people for a ride. It's so FREEING to finally have my driver's license! 

Already, I've checked off 2/3 of the goals on my 12 Week Year.

If you haven't grabbed a copy of this book, you definitely should!

Step 3: Practicing awareness

Doing anything, with mental health issues, is a huge kick in the butt.

It's hard to breathe sometimes, and my body reacts badly to the many medications I've tried.

So, the best I can do right now is to be aware of my surroundings.

Let go of situations that are causing me stress and giving myself permission to sleep in on some days and rest on others.

Again, passive income will play a huge role in this. It's the only way I can keep my income consistent without taking on more clients.

Meditation first thing in the morning has been helping a lot.

I've been using the Meditation Studio app, which I love because it's only a few minutes long.

Plans for June

I'm moving more towards the world of coaching other virtual assistants in launching their business.

One way I'm helping is by offering a free live coaching session every Monday and also starting a support group for VA/OBM's.

I am also hosting a GIVEAWAY (ends June 2nd 2017 9PM EASTERN) of my VA Swipe Files, Legal Contract, Big Ideas Launch Pad, and three 45 minute strategy sessions with me. 

So thanks for following along in my journey! 

I'd love to hear about what you're up to! Let me know in the comments below!

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On Living After Abuse + Growing a Business: Fiona Benjamin Blog