Career Change

Retreat Recap: 5 Big Learnings to Pursue Your Next Big Thing

With Lydia Lee

In April, I had the honour of spending 7 full days with an intimate group of freedom seekers and adventurous souls who came to Bali to incubate with me in paradise to design and create their business and corporate escape plans.

Your Next Big Thing Retreat is hands down my FAVOURITE thing to do each year, because it allows me to roll up my sleeves, dig deep into the purpose of each person’s work they want to share, and create a safe place to discuss conversations on fear, self doubt, and what is necessary for each retreaters to experience in order to move forward with their dreams.

During our week in the tropics together, we created big visions for our business ideas, validated the direction of meaningful work, learned how to talk about the problems we want to solve, get vulnerable to share our stories, and design a plan of action to launch.

In today’s video I’ll share with you the 5 powerful learnings we experienced at the retreat that helped to spark new ways of thinking and strategic shifts to pursue our next big thing.

Learning #1: Know the Non-Negotiables for Your Best Work

“I learned that I should know myself better, understand what I like to do, who I want to work with, before starting my next project” – Jerome, 2018 Your Next Big Thing participant

As you start a freelance career or get moving on creating a new business, it’s important to first take a pause to understand what’s most important for you when it comes to great work.

It can be easy to be tempted to do what someone else is doing, and forget about your own instincts of what feels right for you.

Having boundaries around your work (what you’re willing to do and what you’re not willing to do to make a buck) is super important to FEELING good about your work. And if work isn’t pleasurable, I can bet you won’t start that business.

At the retreat, Day 1 started with understanding the foundations that are necessary for us to depend on in our work. What do we rely on ourselves for, and what do our potential customers rely on us for to serve them?

Awareness of your strengths and sticking to what you’re good at

Don’t try to solve everything for everyone and don’t try to be someone you’re not. Pick what you’re willing and capable to help with, without the distraction of trying to add to many things into your business offerings. There will always be a niche of people who are well suited for the stage you help in, and you don’t have to offer ALL the things to get customers.

What are the important values you need in your work?

Laying out the foundations of what is an ideal career for you helps you to utilize this knowledge and self awareness as a GPS on what you are moving towards.

There are fundamental principles and criterias you’re looking for in a GREAT career.

Your career will span many versions that leads to your body of work for the rest of your life. It’s not ONE thing that you die with.

It’s a full expression of your gifts, act of service, and value to the world you’ll be accumulating as you build your body of work.

Honour these foundations as you make conscious decisions about projects and ideas. This way, you’ll be able to say a “Hell yes!” or a “Hell no!” to opportunities on your path.

My personal definition of success means…

Besides money, what would make you feel successful in ways of fulfillment, meaning, or satisfaction?

It’s a good thing to identify what other means of motivations can be remembered when building your business (because the reality is this: profits will not happen right away). You’ll need to remember other aspects of success that will give you reason to persevere and continue, and those reasons need to be beyond money.

Learning #2. Imposter syndrome wins when you hide from the work

“My biggest realization from the retreat was that I am not an “impostor”. I realized that my self doubts were blocking me. I also realized that I have every reason to believe in my vision. I received so much support regarding what I believe I am created to give to the world!” – Denise, 2018 Your Next Big Thing participant

One of the biggest obstacles people face to start a business is the looming imposter syndrome that keeps them stuck from starting anything of their own.

Self doubt creeps in, and before long, you’re thinking “Who am I to do this? I’m not good enough to charge for this thing I want to do”.

The best way to eliminate imposter syndrome is to START sharing your work and seeing the evidence of how your work can impact others. When your ideas are only in your head, the imposter monster will start questioning them.

However, if you start in a place of ‘service’ and help genuinely, the imposter has no more reason to keep pestering you. You’ll start to realize that what you know, the advice you share, and how you help, is INDEED valuable to other people.

Validating the value of our work and business ideas with REAL humans.

Start talking about what you want to do NOW. The more you help people the more you can see how important your work is for them.

Share your thoughts and ideas on your FB profile, or anywhere you already have an audience. We forget a lot about the social equity we’ve already built with the communities and networks that are around us!

Very likely your first client will come from someone you already know. Stop hiding behind the computer screen, and start having great conversations with people.

Your credentials are not just in your resume, degree, or certifications.

Your life experience counts. Your ability to understand the experience your potential customers are going through IS your credibility (especially if you’re someone who have gone through the pain they’re going through).

Talk vulnerably about your own experience. Share your own learnings. People resonate with people who GET them because they know what it feels like to be in their shoes.

Learning #3. Let go of past corporate baggage

“I needed to work on myself first. To heal from the past, love who I am and feel energized by what I am about”. – Tara, 2018 Your Next Big Thing participant

We get very used to leveraging our job titles, credentials, and certifications to PROVE ourselves.

However, in business, it’s your deep interest in your work and causes you care about that helps people to recognize your abilities.

It can be normal to feel a sense of guilt for leaving your corporate job, and to feel that you have to explain yourself on why you made your decisions. We have to learn to let go of the shame that comes with making an unconventional decision.

Start with really reflecting on WHY you are doing what you’re doing. How does your decision to start a business or pursue a passion project improve your quality of life? How does it help you grow into a person you want to become?

Know your why

A cliche I know. However, it helps you to remember why you left, deal with naysayers, and understand the deeper motivation beyond yourself to pursue your new version of work.

Refrain from judging yourself

Stop comparing yourself to colleagues. None of your history was a waste – it’s helped you to be who you are today, as you step into a bigger version of yourself. You’ve built a body of work to lead you to your next chapter.

The obstacle is the way

Lean into the discomfort of removing the mask and do the uncomfortable work. It is exactly what you need to work on in order to lead a bigger life. It is a mirror to other areas of your life that may need to learn the same ‘lesson’ – what you do overcome in your business in usually what you needed to overcome in ‘real life’ too.

Learning #4. You already have what you need to start your business

Don’t overcomplicate what you think you have to do, and start simplifying what you CAN do to get you into the vicinity of your goals.

What if you could leverage what you already know, have access to, or have opportunities on now? What ‘low hanging fruit’ opportunities are already available?

For example, instead of searching for new audiences for your work, could you tap into communities you already belong into? I.e. your church, meetup groups, people you already know.

What if you already have everything you need to start your business? What if you don’t have to keep learning more things, and instead use what you’ve already learned into practicing a real action?

Overlearning is a form of procrastination, and distracts you from doing the real work to create and launch your business. Go with IMPERFECT action, because it is THIS that helps you gain clarity.

Learning #5. You can’t do it alone and the importance of community

Entrepreneurship does not have to be a lonely road ahead.

We need people to uplift us, collaborate with, and support us in this journey. When you have a place to share, learn, grow, and receive constructive feedback, it allows you to feel validated in the path you’ve chosen.

And when you too, can help others in their business, YOU learn. Most of the time you’ll end up saying to yourself after giving someone else advice, “I needed to hear that myself!”

One of the valuable part of Your Next Big Thing retreat experience was the access to like-minded people to be able to use collective intelligence to do the things we’re not good at doing ourselves. The collaboration that can be felt when we are able to utilize the skillsets of others to help fill out own gaps of knowledge is so essential.

Find your tribe of people that don’t think you’re crazy for having big unconventional dreams from the norm. Find a safe place to share, vent, express your fears, and use that space to create your own council of business colleagues.

Most importantly, find the humans that talk you INTO pursuing your dreams, when it can be easy to talk yourself out of it.

Now I want to hear from you.

Which of these 5 learnings resonated with you most in what you’re experiencing today?

And most importantly, how will you change the way you think or what you act on to bring your big vision for creating your own business to reality?

Share with me in the comments below!


Want to join us to experience a powerful 7 days in Bali to build your life and business of your dreams?

Click HERE to find out the deets for our next retreat and apply!

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