My First Million
“Quick, take my picture.” I said to my partner. This is what he snapped.
It’s the moment I became a millionaire.
I knew the day would be coming soon and I was expecting the email from my financial planner to drop any second. My partner and I happened to be in San Francisco at the moment, on a little side venture after I led a workshop in Napa Valley, when word came in.
Record scratch – what? I had a workshop in Napa Freakin Valley? I took a “little side jaunt” to San Francisco? I have a financial planner? Who does that??
I had never even dreamed this day would have come.
Back in 2010, when I was so fresh I didn’t even call myself an entrepreneur, I met with an accountant to make sure I wouldn’t go to jail for tax problems.
Dave told me something like “Withhold 23% of your income right now. When you reach six figures, we’ll have to re-adjust because you’ll be in a new tax bracket.”
I literally LOLed. No way would I EVER make six figures.
I made a million the following year.
Before too long, I was paying six figures in taxes. Yes, I pay more in taxes than I used to make as salary in a whole year at my old job.
These days I look back at the photo of this sweet moment, with my complete swagger and San Francisco-styled hair, and I remember thinking “This will be the best year of business I’ll ever have.”
How wrong I was. Million dollar years are the new norm.
See, this is the thing about growing an empire: It’s hard to see exactly where you’re going.
It’s hard to trust that customers will keep coming.
The economy, a pandemic, an injury, and everything could crumple. There are most definitely forces beyond your control.
That lack of control, that uncertainty, can cause so much low-grade (or high-grade) anxiety that it clouds our ability to think clearly and creatively.
Anxiety gets us listening to so many conflicting, external voices that we freeze.
We stop dreaming big. We start making some abrupt, erratic choices. We wonder whether we should look for a salaried job.
Listen, I never know what my income will look like in 8 months. It’s been that way for 13 years now. At some point in there, I just had to trust that things would work out, because history was showing me that they kept working out.
The sooner you can get comfortable with uncertainty, the more you can stay focused on your work.
My advice is not to relax. My advice is to channel that energy into the #1 trait you need to get to your first million: Absolute faith in yourself that you will figure it out.
You will figure out how to market yourself to bigger, better clients.
You will figure out if, how, and when to hire who in order to increase your business capacity and gross income.
That might mean getting some advice and, if that’s the case, check out my online course, Boost & Bloom. Enrollment opens February 1.
We may not be able to see what’s coming down the road. We may not be able to predict the day we’ll get the email from the financial planner with the million dollar news. But we can trust ourselves that we’ll figure out the very next step to get there.
If you look carefully at your life, I’m sure you’ll find places where you trusted yourself to figure it out. Write back and tell me about it.