198. How to Stop Stunting Your Growth (Quick Motivation!)

How to Stop Stunting Your Growth (Quick Motivation!)

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Are you feeling stuck in your entrepreneurial journey, constantly waiting for the “right time” to take the next step? Let me share a little secret with you: the right time is now, and the key to unlocking your growth is future-proofing your business. Future-proofing means making decisions today that will set you up for the success you envision tomorrow. It’s about acting as if you’ve already achieved your goals and making moves that align with that future version of yourself.

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • The importance of future-proofing your business by making decisions today that align with your future goals.
  • The concept of cyclical stalling and how waiting for the “right time” can actually hinder your growth.
  • Personal insights on adopting a future-oriented mindset and how it transformed my business.
  • Strategic investments in branding and website updates as essential steps towards manifesting your future success.
  • The critical role of legal protection in laying a solid foundation for your business and ensuring its growth.

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Listen to episode 198, follow along so you never miss an episode, and leave a review to help introduce the show to more online business owners just like you!

Embrace Your Future Success Now

One common trap many entrepreneurs fall into is cyclical stalling—putting off important decisions, like legal protection, in hopes of future growth. But here’s the twist: this waiting game can actually stunt your growth. From my own experience, adopting a future-oriented mindset and making decisions as if I had already reached my future goals was a game-changer. It propelled my business forward in ways I hadn’t imagined.

Strategic Moves for a Visionary Entrepreneur

So, how do you start future-proofing? Begin by saying no to things that waste your time and yes to activities and investments that align with your vision. For me, this meant a significant investment in branding and updating my website to reflect where I wanted my business to be. These aren’t just cosmetic changes; they’re strategic moves that show the world you mean business—literally and figuratively.

Legal Protection: The Foundation of Future-Proofing

Legal protection plays a pivotal role in this process. It’s not just about safeguarding what you’ve built; it’s about laying a solid foundation for your business’s future. Taking steps to legally protect your business demonstrates a serious commitment to your entrepreneurial journey and ensures you’re prepared for whatever comes your way.

If you’re ready to stop stunting your growth and start future-proofing your business, join me for a free live class on legally protecting your online business in 2024. It’s time to make decisions today that your future self will thank you for. Let’s embark on this journey together and transform your business into a future-proofed powerhouse.

Download Episode Transcript

Sam Vander Wielen:
Hey, and welcome back to On Your Terms. I’m your host, Sam Vander Wielen. And today is a quick little motivational episode. I’m hoping to put some pep in your step. I know I could use it today, so maybe I’ll get a little dose of my own medicine.

If you haven’t yet, make sure you go down into the show notes and click to sign up for my free live class that’s coming next week on February 20th and 21st. It’s the only live class I have scheduled so far this week. You only have a few more days until the 19th to sign up, so make sure you go down. It’s called How to Legally Protect your Online Business in 2024. I’m going to share with you some updates of things that are happening in the online business industry that you need to be aware of, some changes that are happening that you’re legally required to make. So, make sure you click down below. If you can’t make it live to one of the two times I’m offering, you want to sign up anyway because that’s the only way to get the replay. So, I hope to see you there. I’m really excited about it.

So, today we’re talking about a little topic that I love called future proofing. So, future proofing is really about stepping into the vision that you want to become either as a person or as a business or both as the business owner and starting to take steps to get you closer to that vision. Not waiting for that vision to happen, but instead acting like it’s already here and starting to make decisions from a place, starting to shift your mindset to a place like you’re already there, or at the very least if I could just convince you, to start acting like you’re headed there anyway, so you might as well do some of these things. That would be awesome because this was a huge, huge growth factor for me.

So, I like to refer to this little phenomenon as like cyclical stalling or cyclical stunting your growth. Because what happens is it’s kind of like running on a business treadmill, because what happens with us is that what we do is we’ll put these obstacles in our way, like I know I want to grow my business, or I know I want to put this course out there, I know I want to start a podcast or a YouTube channel, but first I need X to happen. We come up with some list of things that we need to happen.

On the legal side, I always hear people say I know I need to get legal protection but I’m going to wait until my business grows. But then, their business never grows because they never put themselves out there enough because they don’t feel confident enough to put themselves out there because they know they’re not legally protected. See how that’s like cyclical stalling, it’s stunting your growth because the very thing that you need to get there to grow is the very thing you’re not doing because you haven’t grown yet. And so, it’s kind of counterintuitive in a way. That’s why it feels to me like running on a business treadmill.

So, you might be waiting, for example, to future proof your business, to get your business legally legitimized until your business gets bigger, until you have more clients, you’re more profitable. But then, you won’t share about your business because you’re afraid it’s not legally protected.
That happens all the time and that’s very common. You’re definitely not alone in that.

I also see when people won’t put out a certain course or a program or some kind of offer that they’re really excited to put out because they’re like, "I’m not sure if I’m legally allowed to do that. What happens if someone takes it and they steal it? What happens if someone takes it and they’re not happy? I don’t know what to do." But then, what do you think is going to grow this business? You have to be more visible. You have to show up more. You have to show up consistently. Those things are what brings in sales. Visibility, consistency, and showing up all the time is what brings in a lot of sales. You’ve got to break this cycle somehow.

Years ago, I started personally embodying this mindset shift. I first got very clear on what I wanted my business to look like, and probably even more clearly what I wanted to be like as the owner of the business.
Like, what did I see my day looking like? What kind of things did I do? What kind of tasks did I tackle every day? What did I not tackle? I think I probably spent even more time on that. I thought a lot about what my business looked like on a bigger level. Was I focused on public speaking? Was I speaking on stage? Did I have a book? That was a big part of my vision was I wrote a book and then I was speaking about the book. I was traveling around. I was on people’s podcasts. I was talking at conferences. I was doing these kinds of things on a bigger level, which I was very much not doing and seemed very far out of the realm of possibility when I was going through this kind of visualization. But I would clearly envision what I wanted my business to look like and, therefore, how that trickled down to me and what I wanted to be and act like as a business owner.

And then, I did something that I didn’t intend to do or know that I was doing at the time, but that turned out to be a really good decision. I started making decisions at that time like I was already there. So, instead of being like, "Okay. I’m here and they’re, like, five miles down the road, that’s where I want to go." So, I’m just going to stand here and hope that I – I don’t know – end up on one of those like airport – what do you call them? The little thing? The people movers. The airport people mover that just magically picks me up and moves me closer. No, no. I’ve got to start walking. I’ve got to start walking. Maybe even sprinting, depending on how far it is and how fast you need this to happen.

But I started making decisions like I was already down the road, I was already five miles down the road. And when things would come across my desk or I would think about some kind of opportunity I wanted to apply for, or whatever, I would be like, that person that I just talked about, the person I envisioned down the road with the business that I really wanted, what does she do? What does she not do? Would she say yes to this? Would she say no to this? Would she be wasting her time with this? What would she be focused on instead?

Some of these decisions, for example – many of them actually – actually don’t cost you anything. These are just like saying no to things, being more disciplined with your time. That was something I thought about, was, she’s not wasting your time. I was doing a lot of these like in person meetings with people locally and getting coffee dates and letting people pick my brain, talking to people on social media too much, and all this kind of stuff, I was like, "She wouldn’t be doing that. She’d be too busy." Not in the busy, busy sense, not in the taking pride in being busy, but she’s focused because then she also knows that she wants to shift the rest of her day to be about living, not her business. So, she’s very targeted and disciplined and focused with her time. I wasn’t wasting my time on things that weren’t actually bringing me closer to that vision that I had, so I just started making decisions like I was already there. I decided what I would say yes to and no to.

And other things required investments. I mean, a lot of these things can be just simple mindset shifts and prioritization of your time, and I think your schedule, and what you focus on in terms of the amount of content that you put out, what kind of content you put out, where you choose to do that, spending all your time on social media versus picking one of the big three, for example. But others did require some investment.

I’m kind of going through one of these right now, so I thought I would use mine as an example. I am investing big time right now in my branding and in my website. So, I already have had some new branding rolling out. You’ll see it kind of transition over time even more. But what you’re really going to see is a brand new website that was a multi-five figure investment. It’s a big, big, big overhaul. When you have a website that’s as big as mine with hundreds of blog posts, hundreds of podcast episodes, dozens of digital products, let’s just say it’s a very heavy lift. It’s a very, very heavy lift.

So, there’s a lot going on with that and I have my own vision of I’ve had to move the post. So, I have my own vision of where I think my business is headed. And it was really hard for me because I felt like it was the right time. We needed a new website. I felt like some of the stuff had been outdated, but there were also just some functionality things of I want people to be able to find blog posts easier topic-wise and podcasts.

I didn’t have a podcast when I started my website. I didn’t have a book. I have a book coming out next year, so I’ve got to start to get my website prepared to have a book and all of the things, all of the media and the things that are going to come along with that. So, I had my own stretch moment that felt very scary for me and felt like I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know If I’m there. I don’t know if my business is worthy. This looks so professional and so serious and so cool, I don’t know if that’s me. It was my own stretch moment.

And so, sometimes we kind of have these moments where we have these stretch moments, you work and work, you start making decisions. Getting closer, you start future proofing your business and then you kind of arrive, and then you’ve got to move the post again. So, this is not a one and done. Sorry to tell you.

But I needed to step back into this mindset again this year and say I know that there’s another level I want to go to. I know there’s some other things that I want to do. And I know that some of these things are just mindset. Again, free, no cost to you. They’re just things that I’ve got to start acting like I’m already there. I’ve got to start making decisions like I’m there. I’ve got to start saying no to things like I’m there.

This website branding thing is an example of something I had to invest in that I think needed to level up with me. Everybody has different views on this, but personally, I find that my visuals – I’m a very visual person to begin with – really represent on the outside what’s going on, on the inside. So, I need the business to visually look like where I’m headed and so that was important to me.

I always will be an advocate for responsible decision making, by the way, versus throwing money out the window. So, what I’m not saying is if your business is here today, but you want it to grow, throw a huge investment at a new website, and therefore you will get there. I’m not saying that these things are necessarily what gets you there. You have to make decisions responsibly. I know, for example, what I’m doing and why I’m doing it with the website. I know who I’m speaking to on my website. I’m very clear about the branding and the vibe and the feel and why I’ve done. I’ve spent probably hundreds of thousands of dollars at this point on research and interviews and voice of customer and everything else in between, and I just have a very clear vision and purpose on my own. I’ve also got seven years under my belt of knowing that the very intentional vibe that I try to curate, I mean, it’s authentic from my perspective, but that’s what I do try to curate, that it works.

So, I also have proof of concept at this point. I know that investing in that is something that’s going to help to bring me closer to my goal. I’m not throwing money at a website. I’m not throwing money at a business coach. I’m not throwing money at a course saying if I buy this, then hopefully that will just work, that will be the thing that does it. Instead, I knew I had a lot of meetings about this and thought about it a lot. I knew that this was the right time. I knew that this was the right move.

You have got to start taking steps towards where you want to go. First and foremost, you have to be really clear about where you want to go. Even me saying that, it’s making you think, "Actually, I don’t really know." That’s the first thing you have to spend time on. And there’s no right or wrong. Please don’t judge yourself. Don’t make it look like mine or this other person that you see on Instagram or a friend. It can look like whatever you want it to look like. It doesn’t need to be a multi-figure business. It doesn’t need to be six, seven figures. You don’t need to work with hundreds of clients.

Or you can. If you want to build an eight figure business, make that your vision. Make it, though, truly what you want. And I would really encourage you to focus more on how you want to feel in that business, why that’s important to you, and what that translates to in terms of how you spend your day, what kind of things you’re working on, what kind of things you’re not working on. You might find like I did in doing that kind of exercise that a lot of the things that you’re doing right now are time wasters and they’re not getting you closer to your vision. And that’s, to me, the coolest part because you get to kind of drop that and you get to cut that all and prune from your life and your business tasks and then move forward and be so much more laser focus.

So, yes, many of these things could be no cost steps, like mindset shifts and decisions. And, yes, maybe a step or two does require an investment. And, hopefully, that will become clear to you and you know that building a business does cost money and so we don’t need to spend frivolously or throw money at something because we hope it’s the magic bullet. But we can get very clear on why we think that this thing will be something that will help take us closer to our vision.

With the kind of business that you’re building, I imagine that that kind of business needs legal protection if you don’t have it yet, because the kind of business that you’re building values and knows what it’s doing and knows it’s the required and the right thing to do. So, when you find yourself next time saying I don’t think I deserve legal protection yet because I’m going to wait until my business gets bigger, more successful, has more clients, when I think about that successful, bigger, more profitable business, does that business have legal protection? Do they take themselves seriously? Will they not work with a client without a contract? Well, then that’s what I have to start doing now. We have to start future proofing your business and moving you closer to where you’re going.

So, with that, I’ll talk briefly about this concept in my free live class next week, How to Legally Protect your Online Business in 2024. I hope to see you there. It’ll be live. You can bring all your legal questions for me. I can’t wait for it. It’s always really fun. But make sure you go grab your seat before seats run out. The last day to register is on Monday, the 19th, and I will see you there. If I will see you there, please do me a favor and quickly send me a DM on Instagram or respond to my email if you get my emails and just let me know I’m in, I signed up, I’m coming to the class, anything you want. Just let me know because I get really excited knowing that you’re excited and that you’re going to be there. And I can’t wait to connect with you next week in my free live class.

Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business, at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.

Just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services. But I think I offer some pretty good information.


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DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and does not intend to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.

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