I’ve made 2 big decisions this month: I announced my resignation as a Regional Director of Forward Ladies at the beginning of the month, and yesterday, I informed my members of The Academy for Talented Women that I would be closing the club at the end of this month.
It feels very strange today – as my members react to the news and I prepare for our last ever masterclass (“How to Silence Your Own Inner Imposter and Own Your Expertise”), with one of my favourite guest experts Caroline Ferguson, AKA “The Mindset Trainer”.
Closing The Academy has been a tough decision and it’s taken a fair dollop of bravery to let go of my “baby”. I created The Academy almost 5 years ago, in February 2013. It was originally called “FaB Club for Working Mums” and it was born from an online fixed duration group coaching programme called “Fab for Working Mums”. The programme was incredibly successful in helping working mums to become “Fulfilled and Balanced” (hence FaB), but I wanted to provide continuous, cost-effective support. So FaB Club was born.
Most of the members have been with me since the very start of the Club – and I feel so lucky to have attracted such brilliant women and to have such an incredible retention rate (I believe that the average is 4 months – mine has been almost 5 years).
A couple of years ago, in line with my strategy to get FaB out to the corporate world, sell hundreds of memberships and get crazy rich whilst doing something I believe in, I changed FaB Club to be more “corporate” – The Academy for Talented Women. I even created a corporate brochure (it’s still on my website if you’re curious – amandaalexander.com/theacademy
The “selling hundreds of memberships to corporates and getting crazy rich” bit never happened. I could make loads of excuses as to why. In short, I loved serving my members, I didn’t love anything about marketing to the corporate world. I didn’t give it my all.
But as we all know, the Universe acts in mysterious ways.… After banging my head on a metaphorical brick wall for quite a few months trying to convince the corporate market of the value of The Academy and to no avail, this year other pathways have emerged in ways I’d never have anticipated.
Much of my time at present is working as a leadership coach (for male rather than female clients, to boot!). My work as a workshop facilitator has been notched up many levels. And apparently, I’m now a Virtual Learning Event Expert. A what?! Who would have thought that all those years of trying to stay calm when my webinars crashed would lead to me being labelled as an “expert”?!!
I have also recently taken my first steps as a Coach Trainer with Performance Consultants International, an exciting opportunity to deepen my own coaching mastery with one of the most prestigious coach training schools in the world, and the natural evolution of my existing mentor coaching work.
Alongside all of these magical new career branches, I am developing a deep interest in neuroplasticity, positive psychology and the benefits of mindfulness, particularly in the leadership setting. Who knows where this will take me? I feel increasingly drawn towards using mindfulness to support visionary leaders… For now, I’ll focus on my own mindfulness practice!
Last but not least, as you may already have seen, in June I set up a business with the simply delightful Tropic Skincare whose products and ethics are spot on for me. It allows me to build a passive income business to accelerate my personal financial freedom goals. With a team of 4 already (of whom 3 are former clients), much of my “spare” time (LoL!) is learning how to build my own sales funnels and coaching my team. It’s something completely different to coaching, yet it enables me to use my coaching skills to support women who have similar aspirations.
With everything that I have achieved and experienced so far, I have been stretched beyond where I thought I could go. I have had to work on a fair few mindset monkeys and negative beliefs. And I have experienced many failures along with the successes
So as I have reached a new juncture in my life, I thought I’d share with you my 7 top tips to keep going, feel happy and do your bit as you travel along your own journey of success, failure and who knows what….
1. When it’s all going wrong and the more you try, and the heavier life becomes, it’s time to do the toughest thing – surrender. That means taking a step back, pausing and trusting. As my friend and former client @Jocowlin says, “EWOP: Everything Is Working Out Perfectly”. Even when it feels like EGTS: Everything is Going to Shit. 🙂
2. When something isn’t working any more, your intuition will tell you. Don’t hang on because of familiarity, comfort zones and a sense of obligation when you know it’s time to move on – life is too short and there are too many amazing things out there for you. Take the leap and the net will appear.
3. When you doubt yourself, seek to serve others – hand on heart, tune inwards and set the intention to focus on the people you’re serving. Taking the focus off yourself and putting it onto the people you’re serving reduces performance anxiety and fear of failure. Whether you’re coaching, baking cakes, giving a presentation, selling stuff or building a house.
4. Own your failures and look for the learning and opportunities they have given you. The best learning comes through tough times and multiple failures. Remember that EVERYONE fails and EVERYONE has periods in their lives where it feels like everything is going wrong. You are not alone. Share your failures with others with a smile on your face – it will inspire them to fail and keep going. There is too much bullshit in the world – we need more vulnerable and courageous people to tell it how it is (with positive intention and a smile on your face please!)
5. Celebrate your successes and document them. Keep a “champagne moments” folder – a physical folder or one on your computer. Our brain is hardwired to focus on the negative (it’s called the negativity bias), so you’ll need to operate on a 3:1 basis of celebrating successes to directing failures to remain mentally strong and build emotional resilience.
6. ALWAYS make career decisions through the lens of your core values. This way, even if it turns out not to be as you expected (and things always change), the decision will be the right one, because it will lead to opportunities that you don’t know exist yet. Which leads me to…
7. Say “YES” to opportunities that light you up, even if you have no idea if you can do it. Remember – you can’t see around corners. Saying yes to mad things that scare me has always been a life policy that’s served me pretty well – I’m still alive, still laughing like a loon and quite frankly, I love my life.
The question is – do you love yours?
And if the answer is “no”, what do you need to change?