Posts Categorized: Entrepreneurship

My “White Hot Truth” story (inspired by Danielle LaPorte)

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Entrepreneurship, Personal'

As you might know, I’m a huge fan of Danielle LaPorte.

(For those of you who don’t know Danielle, she’s a bestselling author, spiritual seeker, and member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100).

Many times, her comforting words have touched me at my core. It’s like she understands the depths of my soul and can reflect back exactly what I need to hear on paper.

That’s why I was so excited about her latest book, White Hot Truth: Clarity for Keeping It Real on Your Spiritual Path from One Seeker to Another (available for pre-order now).

The book is all about being true to yourself, even when it’s difficult. It’s about embracing self-improvement and learning from others, but not losing yourself, and never forgetting your own personal power.

As part of her launch, Danielle has invited people to share their own “white hot truth” stories.

Today I’m sharing mine.

My white hot truth…

I was out in the sun in a cute cafe, enjoying oysters and mimosas with a dear friend, who said, “Congrats on crossing the million-dollar mark in your business! What’s your next goal, Selena? How big do you want your business to grow?”

I felt a bit foolish when I told her, “I’m really happy with where my business is right now.” The truth is, I didn’t have any ambitious plans to grow.

My response even surprised me, because I’m hard-wired to push myself. It’s my greatest strength and my greatest weakness.

For me, every day starts at zero. I have this relentless need to “achieve” something each and every day (this includes workdays, weekends, and vacations) in order to feel good about myself. While intellectually I understand I’m worthy just for being me, there’s another part of me that ties my self-worth directly to my accomplishments…and I’m always close to falling short.

Now, I can’t complain too much, because my drive has served me well. It led me to push myself to earn $157k in the first year of my coaching business (despite being an introvert who was terrified of public speaking). The next year, I doubled my business to $315k and the next year, I earned close to $700k. I’m deeply grateful that my revenue and impact continues to grow each year.

Along the way, I joined some incredible masterminds. I learned from amazing mentors. I pushed myself well outside of my comfort zone and tried new things (that made me want to throw up and not get out of bed). I’m so grateful that I did those things anyway. Because if I didn’t make those investments and take those risks, I’d never know my real potential.

But today, I find myself in an interesting place, because I’m not “striving” in the same way I was before. Not only that, but I find myself disagreeing with a lot of conventional wisdom and advice. This includes advice from top experts who I continue to respect and admire to this day.

For example, I don’t believe that every expert, coach, and thought leader needs a continuity membership site (arguably the hottest business model right now). Or to run a free challenge, be active on Instagram or Pinterest, write a book, start a podcast, and post regularly on social media. Why do I say that? Because I don’t do ANY of those things, yet I’ve still managed to build a thriving seven-figure business. In fact, there was a loooong period of time when I didn’t even do any list-building!

I’m so tired of people saying you MUST do X, Y, or Z if you want to be successful. Because the truth is, you don’t have to do any of it. Let’s say you want to travel from where you are to Chinatown. There are an infinite number of ways to get there — by subway, bicycle, private jet, or horse and carriage. It doesn’t matter what mode of transportation you take, as long as you get to the final destination and enjoy the ride along the way. It’s the same with business.

Another piece of well-meaning advice that always makes me cringe is, “You don’t want to be trading dollars for hours!” It’s as if working with people one-on-one is the biggest mistake you could ever make as an entrepreneur. As if it’s the *one thing* holding someone back from their passive income dreams and piña coladas on the beach.

Personally, I’m thankful for the supremely talented rockstar entrepreneurs who make their one-on-one services available to me. I love group programs and they certainly have their place, but where would I be without my amazing team of coaches, consultants, and contractors who share their gifts so generously with me?

I also feel deeply grateful to be offering my one-on-one services to a small group of private clients. I feel so honored to be their trusted advisor. I’m grateful that they confide in me with their biggest dreams. And in the process, my private client work allows me to make a greater impact in the world than I could ever make solely on my own. By elevating my clients’ ideas, message, and story, I’m doing what I consider to be truly “high-leverage” activities, while impacting millions along the way.

As I approach the five-year anniversary mark of my business in June, I can’t help but wonder what’s next for me. What are the new ways I’m meant to help others and make my unique mark in the world?

While there are an infinite number of business opportunities I could consider, I’ve been shy to make any big moves. Because traditional “success metrics” like money and email list size don’t mean as much to me now as they did before. Today I care so much more about alignment and how I feel.

What feels joyful, exciting, and expansive for me? What feels easy and true, that will also allow me to learn and grow?

In the past, I’d look to a business coach or mentor to tell me what to do. I’d spend $10,000 or maybe even $30,000 in search of an answer….

But today, I realize that the only person who really knows what’s right for me is me. Like all of us, I have my own unique set of filters and preferences which help me define what my own version of success and happiness looks like. The answer is not outside of me — it’s within.

It feels weird not be “striving” the way I was before, where doubling my revenue each year was the clearest sign of success. It feels weird to have extra time and space on my calendar — and to exercise the discipline to “keep the space open” while I let what seem like once-in-a-lifetime opportunities pass me by. But that’s what feels most true to me right now.

Keep the space open, keep the space open.

Let go of the good to allow for the great.

To have faith that if I trust with an open heart and make room to receive, the answer will come…

#1 secret to reaching your goals (do you know it?)

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Entrepreneurship'

Have you ever looked at successful entrepreneurs who seem to effortlessly build 6- and 7-figure businesses and wonder… is running a business just easier for them?

You see them hosting beautiful retreats overseas, getting tons of attention for their latest video series, and selling info products to thousands of excited students.

Meanwhile, maybe you tried to launch a group program and just a small handful of people (or perhaps no one) signed up. Or you posted an article you poured your heart and soul into, and no one seemed to notice.

In the back of your mind, you wonder: Were they born with a special “entrepreneur gene” that makes everything they launch turn to gold?

It’s not that they all have a special gene. The powerful and often overlooked trait I’ve discovered among successful 6-figure and 7-figure entrepreneurs is commitment.

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It demands long hours, continual self-promotion, and major financial investments. For those who make it to the top, it’s because they are committed to doing whatever it takes to get there.

They’re willing to take extraordinary actions to reach their goals — no matter how uncomfortable, scary, or inconvenient they are.

That’s what makes them successful.

For example, one of my star students, Julie Parker, is one of the top coaches in Australia. She runs a popular coaching school called Beautiful You Academy and an online magazine called inspired COACH. To say that she’s busy would be an understatement!

Julie was in my Publicity Mastermind a few years ago and had to take 20+ hour flights (each way) to make the retreats in New York. She was always the first one online for our group coaching calls, even though they were at 3am her local time in Australia. When I gave her the schedule, her response was, “Great! I have marked them in my calendar!”

I was so touched and moved by her commitment. Most people wouldn’t consider waking up in the middle of the night for a call. However, Julie told me she wouldn’t miss these calls for the world. This is just one example of why she is so successful.

Today, I have a question for you… how committed have you been to your success?

Have you been taking extraordinary actions — even the uncomfortable, scary and inconvenient ones?

If you haven’t, don’t worry. Now is the perfect time to recommit to your business goals. Here are five tips to help you recommit to your success and take powerful action:

1) Start with your “why”

Do you remember why you started your business?

Were you tired of being chained to your day job? Did you fantasize about helping thousands of people have better lives? Did you dream of jumping out of bed every morning to start your day?

It can be easy to forget why we are working so hard. Reconnecting to why you want a successful business can help you stay focused and take massive action.

2) Determine your top 3 priorities for this fall

The goal of “growing my business” or even “reaching six figures” won’t get you very far. You need to be clear on specific actions that would move the needle in your business.

For example:

  • Enroll 5 new private clients
  • Generate an additional $1,500 per month
  • Get 100 more email subscribers

Once you have determined the specific goals that will move the needle in your business, you can break them up into smaller steps. For example, if you’d like to get 5 more private clients, your smaller steps could be:

  1. Research relevant networking events
  2. Purchase tickets in advance and book the event on my calendar
  3. Schedule strategy sessions with 5-10 potential clients I meet at events
  4. Follow up with other potential leads via emails and phone calls every Monday and Tuesday

If you aren’t sure what steps to take, that’s a sign that you might need to work with a coach or enroll in a program to get the right strategy towards your goals. (If you’d like to get on the waitlist for Get Known, Get Clients, you can do so here.)

3) Add a Commitment Hour to your daily schedule

I view my business as a baby. It relies on me to be fed every day. (You would never feed your baby just once a week!) If I need to get up at 6am to take care of it, I’ll do so. It’s up to me to nurture it so it can be a healthy, thriving business.

The Commitment Hour is a great way for you to “feed” your business. This could be developing a new offering, getting on the phone with a prospective client, or planning your goals for the next quarter.

Try adding in this focused hour of quality time with your business every day — when you are focused on the right things, magic happens!

4) Take time every night to plan the next day’s most important tasks

Take 10 minutes at night to make a list of the top three things you want to accomplish the next day. These three things should relate to your top priorities. Leave this list on a post-it on your computer so it’s ready for you in the morning. Make sure to get started on at least one of these tasks within the first hour of your day.

As entrepreneurs, we have to constantly make decisions. By having the task list waiting for you in the morning, you’re less likely to procrastinate, because the decision is already made for you. When you cross those items off your list, you feel a huge sense of accomplishment!

5) Say no to invitations that distract you from your priorities

Saying “no” is one of the most important practices you can have as an entrepreneur. When you say no, you are honoring your time — your most valuable asset.

Each time someone invites you for a coffee date, phone date, or event, ask yourself: Will this move my top priorities forward? If the answer is no, have the courage to say no. (In a future newsletter, I’ll be sharing scripts you can use for different situations.)

Finally, I’d like to leave you with a video from Bishop T.D. Jakes. You don’t need to be religious to get inspiration from his powerful words. In fact, this is one of my favorite videos. You can watch it below.

How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Entrepreneurship'

Once while attending the World Domination Summit, I listened to Danielle LaPorte as she rocked the stage. During the audience Q&A someone asked her: “How do you become a great public speaker?”

Her answer: “You have to train for it like it’s an Olympic sport.”

Those words hit me hard. Because isn’t it true? If you want to be world-class at anything, there’s only one way — you have to give it everything you’ve got.

As an example, when I started preparing for my first major webinar, How to Get VIP Access to Media + Influencers, I trained for it like it was the Olympics.

You see, for most of my life, public speaking has completely terrified me.

I’m a natural introvert. I spend a lot of time in my head. When I do talk, I talk really fast. My shy tendencies and self-conscious nature created challenges for me.

microphoneI remember one time in high school history class, I had to give a presentation. I was so nervous that my legs were shaking convulsively the entire time I was speaking.

I tried to spill out my words as quickly as possible, but every moment felt like eternity. I could feel the silence in the room. The whole time, I could tell that my teacher and my classmates were feeling sorry for me.

This fear of public speaking continued for most of my adult life. I remember at my first job, I sometimes had to give presentations to my boss and colleagues.

The night before a presentation, I’d toss and turn, worrying about the next day. When I would wake up in the morning, I’d feel like throwing up.

There was no way I was just going to “wing it” and hope for a successful webinar. So over the course of several weeks, I took extreme measures to prepare.

This included:

  • Hiring a consultant to figure out my core messaging and develop story ideas
  • Spending 8 hours per week with my copyeditor writing and rewriting the presentation
  • Rehearsing it in my living room for my interns. They critiqued my delivery. They told me what parts of my talk were interesting (and what was not).
  • On the day of the webinar, I spent 5 hours rehearsing and refining my presentation.

Overall, I spent about 60 hours “training” for this 1-hour webinar. I realized afterward that I followed the advice I’d once heard about public speaking — spend 1 hour preparing for every 1 minute you are speaking.

The result of all this work?

Close to 700 people (hailing from New York City to a small Mayan village in Guatemala) signed up to hear me speak.

And… I nailed it. I loved every single moment of it.

Now here’s what I want you to take away from all of this:

Success is not an accident.

The success of my presentation didn’t just magically happen for me. It was a direct result of the countless hours I poured into crafting my content, rehearsing my talk, and strategizing the promotion.

So today, ask yourself the question: Where in your business are you just hoping success will magically happen? Are there actions you could take that would make your success inevitable?

Once you figure out the answers to these questions and take action, you’ll be amazed at how much you can overcome.

You Don’t Need More Experience. You Need More Courage

Posted on by Selena Soo, in 'Entrepreneurship'

Today I want to share my latest piece with you from Positively Positive. I hope you enjoy it.

You Don’t Need More Experience. You Need More Courage

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One of my friends recently shared with me, “I have a dream of starting my own business, but I’m not sure if I’m ready yet. Maybe I should wait. Maybe I need more experience.”

She was shocked when I told her, “You don’t need more experience. You’re ready now. What you need is more courage.”

The Myth of Experience

People often think that the more experience you have, the better you’ll be at something. I’ve found that this is only sometimes true.

In all industries, let’s say marketing, you can easily find people with twenty or more years of experience. But does that really matter? What if they have two decades of experience but only one year of learning?

Many people go through their careers (and lives) doing the exact same thing, in the exact same way. The people who get ahead are those who innovate and blaze new trails, not the ones who repeat old ways of doing things. The people who get ahead welcome new ideas. They listen; they adapt; they are constantly learning and challenging themselves.

Get Started Now

Whatever your dream is, get started now. Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Don’t wait for more experience before taking the next step. If you wait until you feel comfortable, then it’s already too late.

Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg said to himself, “I don’t have enough experience to build a company like Facebook. I’m still a college student! Let me wait a few years. I should get some experience at Google or Microsoft first. Maybe then I’ll have the skills to go out on my own.”

If you read the stories of entrepreneurs, such as Sir Richard Branson or Sara Blakely who have built billion-dollar businesses, you’ll find that most of them had very little experience (and sometimes no experience) when they launched their ventures. That’s because experience is only a small part of the equation.

Yes, today we admire their knowledge and business know-how. But how did they get there? They got experience by getting started.

Courage Matters Most

Anything is possible. But you must believe in yourself before others can believe in you.

You must be willing to get in the game, make mistakes, learn from them, and then move on-wiser and stronger.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. The courage to continue is what counts.”

Failure Is a Step Toward Success

In an interview with GigaOm, entrepreneur and startup mentor Steve Blank said, “Do you know what we call a failed entrepreneur in Silicon Valley? Experienced.”

You cannot have success without failure. The two are inextricably linked.

So if you’re afraid to act because you might make a mistake, stop and think again. Roadblocks and setbacks provide us with the information we need to grow, change, and make a move in the right direction.

That’s why we should be thanking our failure.

After all, it’s through our failures that we gain experience. So move forward with courage and know that you are headed in the direction of success.

Selena Soo