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December 24, 2019

051 | 5 Areas of Personal Growth 2019

5 Areas of Personal Growth in 2019 with Annie Miller

2019 was honestly one of the best years of my life thus far. That is largely in part to traveling the world. It didn’t suck. As well as business growth and financial stability. YES, I believe we ought to be grateful in all states, which is easier said than done. But if we’re being honest, money does, to some extent, allow for more freedom and less specified stress IF dealt with like a good steward.

Which is something I’ll talk about a bit later, because money mindset was something I worked heavily on in 2019. This was simply because I was making more money and wanted to be responsible with it, but knew that I had false beliefs around money that would not benefit me, my marriage or my business.

So, kudos to world travel and business. Because its all a part of my life and self growth. I read less books and had more experiences. I made more friends on the internet than I’ve ever had in real life.

And I learned so much this year. So let’s dive into my five big takeaways from 2019.

I’m WAY more flexible

If you don’t know, I am an introverted Type A, ISTJ-A on Myers Briggs, 8 Enneagram and shift between a Questioner and Upholder on Gretchen Rubens four tendencies.

All of that means I like structure, systems and predictability. I want to know the end of the movie before I watch it. I want to repeat things that work and am slightly terrified of things are new to me, with no proof of being efficient or productive. You get my drift.

Now picture the person I just described, traveling the world while running and scaling an online business…

Really, that is WHY I can do both successfully, BUT like any scenario, our strengths are often our weaknesses as well.

When 2019 hit, we were off to South East Asia, very little of which we had planned. I had an option to remain uptight and want to plan every little thing (which is what I tend toward), or I could learn to go with the flow. At least a little more.

We actually got to the point that we were booking things as we went rather than super far in advance. I will say that we like having our flights and hotels booked ahead, just for peace of mind. But it’s so easy to travel in Southeast Asia that it was a great time to be more flexible. When we found out I was invited to go with Fre Skincare to Morocco and got the dates, we pretty much just filled our time between seven countries in Southeast Asia and then planned an impromptu road trip through Portugal before heading to Morocco.

That flexibility transferred to business and life in general. It’s still important for me to plan. But I am definitely more flexible with those plans and sometimes even find myself feeling restricted if my scheduled plans don’t align with what I feel like doing that day.

I don’t know if you are comprehending that that is a HUGE deal for me. I am a changed woman.

Another area of growth was relationships.

I made more friends

I went from starting college and working to being in college, working and interning, to working, training people in person and building an online business.

Add in the blaring introvert in me, and you can see why a social life was not a priority to me.

Yes, I had friends. But if I had a choice between getting coffee alone and getting coffee with a friend, I probably would have chosen alone. I was busy, SO BUSY. And I reset by being alone, slowing down, reflecting and creating space for my brain to breathe. Which is not how feel when with people, even people I love.

So, here I was 5-6 years in to being BUSY AF and not pursuing friends, to traveling the world with one human. A human I happen to love, and who I will spend the rest of my life with. But I’d yearned for more friends and connections for YEARS. And it was like a burning desire once I went all in on my online biz and started traveling the world.

It was very apparent I needed friends. And I happened to find mine on Instagram.

You think that’s weird? People find relationships online all the time.

In this day and age, it’s more common than you might think. AND I’d even argue you can REALLY find humans you want to connect with because the pool is so much larger online.

Now, I will also say I don’t think anything can be in person connection, but that wasn’t really an option for me while bouncing around the world. Although we did have friends come visit and made friends along the way.

Back to Instagram – this is where I spent a good portion of my time anyway. And I knew of a few women who I truly supported and wanted to befriend but just never reached out to for whatever reason. Probably because I was so busy and in the hustle at home.

So, I started responding to their stories more and commenting on their posts. Not in a pushy or weird way. Just organically. These were things I’d thought in the past, but never took the time and effort to verbalize.

It didn’t take long to begin fostering friendships. Yes. These are real humans. And I DM’d, voice messaged and video chatted with them while we were gone more than my actual friends back in the states.

I have to say, a large part of that was convenience. They were where I was and they are also entrepreneurs. That was a prerequisite I didn’t mention. I REALLLLYYYY wanted some entrepreneurial friends. Women who got it. Who understood the struggles of building your own biz. It’s just different than anything else. And if you’re a biz owner, you know that.

So, I came home with far more friends than when we left. Both online and in person. I truly feel supported in life and business by these women and hope to meet them in real life someday. Because I have no doubt it will feel like seeing an old friend. On that note, technology is cool.

And I will say I still seek out friendships and am protective of the ones that I did create over the course of 2019.

Moving on to one that I made progress in, but still have SO FAR to go.

Work life boundaries

I am a doer, I like to do things and I have a hard time sitting still. Even if I am sitting still, I am thinking, or writing or dreaming. I would 150% be a workaholic if I was single. Oh my gosh, I have no doubt.

Being in a relationship with another human (hopefully) decreases that tendency. When you’re an entrepreneur you love what you do, and I LOVE what I do. The more time I spend as an entrepreneur, the more I want to do. I get better at getting and executing ideas, and I want to improve upon what I’ve already made.

But I do try to remember an important piece of essentialism and the Four Hour Work week. We don’t become more efficient in our biz so we can DO MORE. We become efficient so that we can create SPACE for life. Not so we can fill the space with more work.

That is so important and something I have to remind myself of almost daily. The business should serve your life, not the other way around.

I was talking about this a while back with a friend of mine (A FRIEND FROM INSTAGRAM) and I mentioned that work life balance was easier when we were traveling.

Some might find that surprising at first. But it makes sense.

I could only work when we had wifi. Which was essentially only when we were home. In fact I typically just left my phone at home when we’d go anywhere because it was pointless to have it, aside from maybe taking pictures to upload later.

Nate gets a SIM card wherever we go, but I just keep my phone on airplane mode for an entire year. This forced me to prioritize work tasks when we had wifi, and to be present when we were out and about. It was a great gig really.

I noticed when we returned home, I could be on my phone, working, 24/7. And as I stated, I lean towards that decision. So I set some boundaries like stopping work at 6pm, which doesn’t happen as often as I’d like.

A big thing was also allowing life to take priority over work. If Nate wanted to go to breakfast I said yes and started work later. If someone needed us to do something, I said yes, and worked later. There were of course times when work did in fact need to come first. But life came before work enough times that I noticed, paused, and was so grateful. It was a reminder that that is WHY I run an online business.

With that online business, there was growth. In so many areas. One of which was financial.

And that brings us to money mindset.

Money mindset growth

I’ve discussed this on other podcasts so I won’t repeat it. But my childhood left me with some pretty negative connotations about money.

Despite that, I have always been good at saving money. Mostly out of fear, strangely enough.

Well, now I had become good at making money, and I wanted to make sure I was a good steward with that money. I being my husband and I. Yes I make the income for us, but it is our money. Or that’s how we see it.

I read The Big Leap during our time in Santiago, Chile. The Big Leap teaches that you’re to create a mantra for yourself, one that welcomes creativity, love and abundance. Believing that you can, in fact, have them all. And when you have them all you actually don’t have to self sabotage. Go figure.

Well, I created a part of my mantra that said money comes to me easily and effortlessly, and I welcome it. Because I did not believe ANY OF THAT. Not one piece. I disagreed completely.

That’s the point and power of mantras. They shift beliefs and therefore actions.

I repeated it almost daily for a year. Most often when I was walking to whatever coffee shop I was working at, or while riding on the back of Nate’s scooter. I’d repeat it when I felt stressed. The mantra was not about money by the way. It’s much longer and involves many areas of my life.

Eventually I started to believe it and have experiences that backed up the mantra. Boom. Not magic folks. What you focus on grows. It’s not a secret.

On top of the mantra was Instagram.

God bless Instagram again. I follow a lot of successful women entrepreneurs and I love how some of them talk about money, and I am really put off by others.

I started paying attention to the ones I liked and didn’t like. This was actually an assignment in my mastermind.

So many of us have negative mindsets around money. Fear and stress based beliefs. But money can do good. And I believe we are blessed to be a blessing. I began studying these women and picking up on nuggets like “money is neutral, not good or bad” “the numbers are sexy, pay attention to your numbers” “money is a simple exchange of energy.” And so on. I saw people do good with money. And witnessing that created a switch in me.

Oh, making money doesn’t have to be greedy. You don’t have to be frivolous. It is neutral, and we have choices.

Money mindset is still something I’d like to learn more about. But I will say that getting into the nitty gritty of finance and working on my money mindset has done wonders for me in 2019.

I sought out mentorship

In 2019 I reached out to a lot more humans asking for help because I was reaching new levels and wanted to be supported in both my biz and my life.

You’ll notice I talk about biz and life as if they’re intertwined, and it’s because I believe they are. Your biz affects your life and your life affects your biz, and I think healthy people can create healthy businesses and that’s what I am after. So when I am seeking out mentors, courses and masterminds, I am looking at their LIFE, their VALUES, and how they are running their biz, because it needs to be in alignment with my desires and goals. 

In the past I almost shied away from some mentorship because it required vulnerability. (To be effective anyway). That meant opening up, and that meant they’d see the mess and unrefined in my life and biz. They’d see that I did not actually have it all together.

WHICH I KNOW IS TRUE FOR EVERYONE. But still. That was a major roadblock for me in the past. And I opened that door a bit more in 2019.

I knew I was reaching my ceiling and feeling somewhat panicked If you will. So I reached out to mentors and I joined a mastermind with a woman I align with very much so. The mastermind didn’t provide the level of support I was hoping for BUT it did provide the push to do scary things, and a clear vision of future possibilities. It helped shift my mindset to a CEO.

I know, business again. But hear me out! That CEO mindset came through weekly journaling for six months. It came through mental health work for six months, continued into 2020. Through looking at my life and what I want out of it and how that’s going to happen. By checking in weekly with how I am doing. Like how I am REALLY doing. Where am I at emotionally, stress wise? Goal wise? What specific area am I focusing on? My marriage? My physical health? Having more play time in my life? Talking to more people in my week? Keeping my workspace clean? etc. 

I hope you can see why business is intertwined with a lot of these. I don’t want to sound like a broken record.

Basically a lot of my growth is influenced by my work, but the growth that happens is in my life. Not directly in my business. The biz growth is a bi-product of the work being done in my life.

And then yes, of course there is actual work done in the business. But that will only be of high quality if I am taking care of everything outside of the business as well. 

Just like with training. You can train all you want, but if your sleep, diet, and stress management is shit, you’re not getting results.

I hope that analogy makes sense.

In 2020 I hope to broaden these areas even more. But I am so so grateful for 2019 and all that it brought to Nate and I and my biz.

Here’s to another year of world travel and even greater growth.

If you find value here, on The FitsPRO Podcast, then pretty please head over to iTunes, subscribe, rate and review the show. It means the world to me when you spread my message to more humans.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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