Ep #120: Creating a Life You Love with Emily Williams

Creating a Life You Love with Emily Williams

Boy, do I have an exciting episode for you today! Today’s guest, 7-figure success coach, entrepreneur, and Hay House author Emily Williams joins us to share her story about how she created the life of her dreams. After experiencing a quarter-life crisis, Emily faced a series of setbacks before moving from Ohio to London (where she knew nobody!) and launching her business I Heart My Life. She now works with female entrepreneurs across the world, helping them free themselves from obstacles to create their dream lives!

It can be difficult to know where to begin when creating a business. You know you need a change, but don’t know how to make it happen. But by getting clear about what you want in life, and acting like you already have it, you’ll open the door to endless possibilities. You have to start small, believe that it’s possible and start living consciously and intentionally.

Join us this week where we’ll discover how getting clear on her purpose and adapting her mindset enabled Emily to create her dream business and a life that she loves. We’ll discuss why investing in yourself and making decisions from where you want to be, not where you currently are, is the key to creating your dream life. Remember, nothing changes unless something changes – it’s time to make your dreams non-negotiable. Get ready to be inspired!

If you want to keep this conversation going, you have to join my free Design You Podcast community on Facebook. We have great conversations over there about the podcast episodes and our podcast guests are in there too! So head on over and I’ll see you there! 

What You'll Learn From This Episode

  • Why you have the power to control your thoughts.
  • Why fear makes you resist change.
  • How to get un-stuck in your life.
  • The importance of investing in your business.
  • Why money and rejection fears may be stopping you from achieving your dreams.
  • How to make your dreams non-negotiable.

Featured On The Show

Full Episode Transcript

You are listening to the Design You podcast with Tobi Fairley, episode number 120.

Welcome to the Design You podcast. A show where interior designers and creatives learn to say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy. Here’s your host, Tobi Fairley.

Hi, friends. I hope you’re feeling great today. I hope you’re inspired to be your best self and to make the most money you can, and build the life and the business of your dreams, because you’re in that headspace today, this episode is for you.

I have Emily Williams on the show today and she’s a success coach, and an entrepreneur, an author and has a seven figure business. But at one point she couldn’t even get a job at Starbucks, friends.

So she experienced what she calls her quarter life crisis and moved from Ohio to London, which she’ll tell you about. And through a series of choices, and over a few years, she found herself moving into the business of her dreams. And in 18 months she went from making $442 to making seven figures, that’s a million dollars, in 18 months, with her business, and she hasn’t stopped since.

So today Emily and I talk about everything from how she did that to money mindset, which is super important, to finding your clarity of purpose. So for all of you who are like I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, whether it’s my quarter life crisis, my midlife crisis, my late life crisis, there’s always time, friends. And I think you’ll find a lot of value in this episode and in this interview with Emily Williams, so get ready, it’s a good one.

Tobi: Hey, Emily. Welcome to the Design You podcast. I’m so excited you’re here today.

Emily: Thank you, I’m excited as well.

Tobi: So I am really, really thrilled that you’re going to tell your story a little bit. And then we’re going to get into how you built your business, because I work with so many women that really are finding themselves sort of where you were not too, too long ago. So why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about you and kind of the highlights of your story, because we’re going to use that to move us into a really interesting conversation today.

Emily: Definitely. So yeah, I grew up in Ohio and I was always surrounded by business owners and entrepreneurs. My dad is a business owner, the same with both my grandpas. And so I always thought that that was in my future. But at some point I kind of fell into the trap of what a lot of people fall into, which is normalcy and just moving forward with college, getting that degree, getting a master’s, so on, so forth.

And so I pursued a degree in psychology, and graduated at the top of my class, and then literally applied to 12 different grad schools around the United States. And I made my parents fly with me to visit all of them, so I could get a feel for all the campuses and see which was going to be the right fit. And I eventually decided on Northwestern in Chicago.

And there was one summer day, it was July 2008, my mom and I were driving to Northwestern to find an apartment in the city for me. I was going to be moving about a month later. And I literally got this feeling in the pit of my stomach, like this wasn’t the right next step for me. And so I started crying and was trying to hide my tears, but my mom eventually saw what was going on, and she asked me what was wrong. And she thought, is it the money, do you not want to spend the money, what is it that’s coming up for you? And I basically just said, “I don’t know, but I need more time.”

And so in that moment we literally turned the car around and went back to Ohio and I entered into a full blown quarter life crisis. And so around that time I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but I had to make money, so I ended up working at a hospital for a while, then I worked at Starbucks, after applying three times. And just was on this quest to try and figure out what in the world I was meant to do.

And around that same time I also took a trip to England, my best friend was living there and my mom was trying to get me out of my funk. And so she thought, let’s just go to Europe where my sister study was studying abroad, let’s also go to England.

And I remember the moment I stepped out of Victoria Station, I had this feeling, another feeling that I was meant to live in London and that didn’t make any sense whatsoever. Everyone in my family is from Ohio and kind of stays there, no one ever leaves. And so for me to think I was meant to live in London; it just didn’t make any sense. But I couldn’t get that out of my mind.

And so while I was working at Starbucks, trying to figure out my life, I just kept hearing this phrase over, and over, and over, move to London. And it was like this little whisper that I now know was my intuition telling me that I needed to take that step.

So I basically did everything I possibly could to get myself to the UK. And that meant applying for a master’s degree in non-fiction writing, because at the time I couldn’t actually apply for a psychology degree because I didn’t meet the prerequisites. And was able, but I knew that eventually I wanted to write a book, so I applied for a master’s in non-fiction writing, got the student visa and moved to the UK.

And I thought at that point, just like a lot of people do, like I’ve got it all figured out now, things are going to change, I know things are going to be different, but that wasn’t really the case.

So my quarter life crisis followed me across the pond, I didn’t know anyone in London. Yeah, I didn’t know anyone in London; I had no clue what I was doing there. And it took some work with someone who was called a happiness coach to actually help me start to transform my life. And that’s really where my coaching journey starts, and yeah, I can go into more detail there, yeah.

Tobi: Okay, amazing. So I love this, how adventurous of you to move to London. But what I really love is that it’s so funny. I think so many people, including people who aren’t just at like a quarter life point, but maybe they’re a little older, maybe they’re even at a midlife point, are still feeling like they don’t know what they’re supposed to be. And so I love already that you’re sharing that you don’t just know what your purpose is going to be. You actually have to do work to figure out this what you’ve called to me before, clarity of purpose, like really getting clear on who you are.

And it’s funny, I coach women all the time and they’re like, “Well, I just don’t know my niche,” or, “I just don’t know my ideal client,” or, “I just don’t know my,” whatever. Like it’s just something you do, like brushing your hair, or I haven’t picked out my outfit today. And I’m like, right, because it’s in the doing, it’s in the process; it’s in the making of the decisions that those things evolve. And I keep reminding them, I still refine things all the time. And I still move and adjust and measure and even, sometimes, pivot.

And I think a lot of people are feeling that need right now, whether it’s because of coronavirus or something else that’s gotten their attention. So let’s go deeper into that, like what that looks like. So you were getting a taste of things, you were hearing some whispers. But it would be so easy to ignore both the move to London whisper, but even I’m sure, the things that started presenting themselves around coaching or other things. So what happened next and how do you get, you know, kind of quantify, I guess, for people how they start to get this clarity of purpose?

Emily: Yeah. So for me, like I said, I started working with somebody to basically become happier. So I discovered that I really, I wasn’t happy, my quarter life crisis, like I said, had followed me across the pond.

And I looked up coaching in my local area and found that there was a woman who ran something called The Happiness Center. And I was like, you know what, I feel like I’ve been depressed for the last three or four years, so I really need some help. And what I learned from her was this thing that completely changed my life that I now wish I was taught at a much younger age. But she basically told me that I had the power to control my thoughts. And when she said that during one of our sessions I was like blown away.

And of course I had studied psychology, I knew about positive thinking, but I hadn’t been practicing it in my own life, in the same way I started to after that moment. And so I began doing more research into coaching, and I discovered things like The Secret, and how our mind really does create our reality. And what I also realized was because I had been focused on what was going wrong, I was getting more of that. And I was staying in this place of being stuck and unclear.

And so it was really that light bulb moment for me, like I need to shift my focus and focus on what’s going right, and I’m going to get more of that. And so for me it was just starting with really simple things, like I remember I had a Tumblr blog at the time. And I used to write a gratitude post every single day for all the things that I was grateful for. Whether it was my pumpkin spice latte or someone holding open the door for me, or whatever it was, it wasn’t anything big during that time. But that really started to shift my focus into what was going right.

And I shifted into becoming a much happier person. And I like to think of it like when you shift and you focus on the positive, you kind of take off the blinders, and you’re able to see all the things that you want, that are already there, and then all of those get magnified. And we see more opportunities, we see the path laid before us, and eventually it leads to more clarity because your eyes have been opened, and you’re not so focused on the things that you don’t have. And so I really attribute it to that.

Tobi: I love that. So not focusing on the lack, focusing on all the positives. And I think for a lot of people, that sounds – because I agree with you completely, and it’s definitely the way I operate, and I have trained and done things with coaching, the same thing. And it blew my mind completely when I really did realize the power we do have over our thoughts. But I think a lot of people can see in other people, yeah, that works for them. Or I can see, you know, maybe they can even see things more clear when they’re looking at somebody else rather than looking at themselves.

But it feels sort of – I don’t know, like fake or Pollyanna or something that’s like untrue, to almost start to ignore the negatives and only focus on the positives, which I love being in that state. And it creates such an amazing life for me. But what about all the people that are like, “Well yeah, but, yeah, but I still don’t have any money or yeah, but coronavirus is a real thing or yeah but?”

Because I think it’s so easy when we’re in it to kind of stay stuck in those old negative patterns and it takes some very specific conscious effort to move in the direction you’re talking about, and choose the opportunities that are in front of you. So how do you do that, how do you turn off that negative sort of pattern or habit you’ve created for so long?

Emily: Yeah, well, I think it comes down to choice, so if you want to stay in that place, great, more power to you, and available for you. But you have to ask yourself, is that really working out for you, is that actually helping you move closer to your dreams and to your vision? And so I was very clear, I always knew I was meant for something big. I might not have had the exact clarity around what that was, but I was going to be damned if I was going to stay in the same place, that’s not what I desired.

And so I realized in order to change my life and to move closer to those goals, I had to make a change. We all know the phrase, “Nothing changes unless something changes.” And so you ask yourself, do you want more of the same or do you want to create a new version of your life, and a new version of yourself?

And so for me, my desires are what fuels – they fuel everything to this day. And I wanted a different life. I didn’t want to live in an apartment the size of a closet. I didn’t want to be single, I didn’t want to not have any friends and not have any clarity around my career, I wanted to make an impact. And so when you’re in that place of desperation you’re willing to try anything, whether it’s a vision board or reading The Secret, or working with a coach, and that’s where I was in that moment.

Tobi: Awesome. So then from there, I just happen to know a little bit more of the story, that you ended up moving into the coaching space. And you’ve built a seven figure business in literally 18 months, which so many people are like, “Give me that, give me that right now.” But what was that path really like and what do people need to know about that?

Because it sounds easy in hindsight, but it was clearly a lot, I know that path, and it’s a lot of making a lot of hard decisions and doing a lot of things that you don’t feel like doing, and staying the course, and practicing the positives and all of that. So how would you describe that path for you, what happened?

Emily: Yeah. So from the moment I started doing this work on my mindset, it took about three years for me to discover the world of coaching that I’m sort of in now. And I knew, you know, I had been working with a coach, but when I discovered someone named Marie Forleo, my eyes opened up to what was possible, and the type of coaching that I personally knew I wanted to do. And so I really pulled from my own journey and I thought to myself, who do I want to work with? Who can I help? Who am I a step or two ahead of who would be in need of my services?

And so I landed on this woman who wanted to fall in love with herself and her life, and the phrase, ‘I Heart My Life’ came to be. And that became the name of my company. And so I moved forward with that vision, and my husband helped me build our first website. I put myself out there and for a while it was complete crickets.

And like I told you, I made $442 in my first month. And I knew that there was something more for me. And I also realized that I didn’t want to play the guessing game any longer. I was trying to figure all this out on my own and that wasn’t going to get me anywhere, it was basically the slow path to everything I wanted.

And so I decided to hire a coach, and I didn’t have any money, I was $30,000 in credit card debt. I was $90,000 in student loan debt when I started my business. And so my husband lent me his credit card, and he wasn’t making a lot of money either, he was making like $35,000 a year. But he lent me his credit card and we put a $7500 coaching program on that credit card. And I was like, “I’m going to do this, I’m going to make it happen, we’ll make that money back.”

And so that was really the entry point into me understanding business strategy, understanding what it means to get on sales calls, how to create programs and packages, how to move past my own money blocks and help other people do the same. And from there, like I said, that July 2014 was a $442 month, but from there I really – I mean I hit the ground running. And within the first six months had created a six figure business and then went on to create seven figures in my first 18 months.

Tobi: That’s amazing, love it. Yeah, so was the money mindset piece one of the biggest blocks, was that one of the biggest pieces? Because I mean obviously there’s the doing the hard work, which that’s an initial prerequisite, if you don’t want to do some of the hard work and the hustling, at least on the front end of a business, it’s not going to happen.

But I watch a lot of people who get stuck in the hard work thing and are trying to muscle their way through this, yet they won’t spend any money, they won’t take leaps, they think they can do it on a shoestring, which is not possible. And they never really release that whole money mindset block or issue ever, which is what keeps them right where they are, which is making very little money. So was that one of the biggest shifts of that process for you? Because you’ve got to grow your money mindset often, as in almost daily, if you’re going to go from 440 to seven figures in 18 months, right?

Emily: Yeah. Yeah, I mean one of the biggest hang-ups I see from the outside looking in, and working with clients is like you said that willingness to spend money and to invest. And it makes no sense to me because we invest in college education, we invest in getting training in other areas and then we think we need to have the money under the mattress for a business, it makes no sense, yeah.

Tobi: And I think women are worse, don’t you? Women in general, we watch men go build like ‘legit’ businesses, as I do air quotes. And then a lot of women come – and it’s not just women, there are plenty other creative men and other people that maybe have this mentality, but especially women.

We have this huge fear around spending money and we – and I was just coaching somebody on this last week in my program. And I was like, “Stop thinking surely this is the last $1200 I have to spend to get there. You’re going to have to spend thousands, and thousands, and thousands of dollars if you want to build a six, or a seven, or an eight figure business. And you’re going to want to choose to because that’s what, you know, if you spend it in the right way it helps you grow the business.”

But I watch these people, and I know you do too, consistently thinking, I’m going to have this little bitty pot of money. I’ll stretch a little bit outside my comfort zone, or gather it up, or ask a spouse or something, but surely that’s the last time I have to invest. And I watch them stay stuck with that, until we coach them out of it, do you have the same experience?

Emily: Yeah, totally.

Tobi: Yeah. So what did you do to get over that?

Emily: Yeah. So for me I realized, and this is the work I do with my clients now, I realized that I need to start making decisions based on where I want to be, not from where I currently am.

Tobi: That’s so good.

Emily: Yeah. And so if I knew that I wanted to be a six or seven figure coach, how can I not go and learn from someone who had already done it? It makes no sense for me to try to do it on my own. And so when you start operating with that belief that means that you’re going to hire faster, because you’re building the business that you desire in the future. You’re not just going to stay in the same place today. And so every decision is based on where I want to be. And that really helped shift everything for me in the beginning.

And I also realized that there were a lot of beliefs for me around is this possible for me? I just wanted to hit six figures before my 30th birthday, and I ended up doing it 10 months before. But I had these preconceived notions about what a 30 something should be making in terms of money. And so I started to pay attention to the other women in the industry who were showing me what was possible. And I started to believe that it was possible for me, if they’re out there doing it, I can do it too.

Tobi: Yeah, I love that. So any tips on that? I mean obviously it’s just deciding, and I think what a lot of people forget is when you – I always go back to the definition of to decide means to cut off all the other possibilities.

But what I watch a lot of people do is waver back and forth in that. Well, I think I can, but then the world tells me I can’t, but I think I can, but now I still don’t have any money. And they just stay in this miserable place of second guessing and I don’t know. You know that spot, we’ve all been there. But it’s just how fast you can get out of it is what really catapults you into the next level. So how do you not get stuck in that place of I sort of believe it’s possible, but I see a lot of evidence of why maybe it’s not possible?

Emily: Well, I mean exactly what you’re illustrating here, doubt kills dreams. And so you have to fortify your mindset and makes your dreams non-negotiable. And I really latched on to that phrase very early on when I had a coach teach it to me back in the day. And I had to get really fierce about what it was that I wanted because my mind was always going to try and keep me stuck and small and afraid. And when I recognized that I was not my mind and I became the observer of my mind, I could see all of the things that it was telling me that weren’t true.

And so I had to start to listen to my heart and what my heart was telling me was that I was meant for this, and I could do it, and that anything was possible. And so I think you have to make that switch.

Tobi: Yeah, I love that so much, I mean, and again, it’s just all about deciding, every step of the way it’s just like you’re saying, decide who you want to be, decide where you want your business to be, and start acting like that now. And I think so many people, don’t you think, they are like, “When x happen, then I’ll start acting like her, when I make six figures, then I’ll act like a person who makes six figures. When I make, you know, when I get my first big legit client then I’ll act like a person who has clients.” Which is not the way that works, right?

But I think this is what a lot of people describe as probably as imposter syndrome, we feel – I don’t know about you, I don’t love the term ‘fake it till you make it’, because we’re not really faking. We’re actually living into her, who she is, but like what about that whole thing, is that imposter syndrome and does it ever go away, and do you just buddy up with her and say, “Come on let’s go together?” Speak to that a little bit.

Emily: Yeah, so I think it’s kind of twofold, for me I realized of course I want to work with as many people as possible, but I also knew at the very beginning that there was a certain segment of the market who would resonate with my story and who I could actually help. And so I like to think of it, who are you a step or two, or five, ahead of right now who you can serve?

And so I knew at the very beginning I wasn’t going to work with people who wanted to create a six figure business until I’d actually done it myself. And there are some industries where it doesn’t matter if you’ve done it, some people can teach it, but I knew that I needed to do it. And so I always thought about it like that, first and foremost. But even when you’re thinking about those clients you’re a step or two ahead of, you do get that imposter syndrome.

You do maybe some days feel like I don’t really know if I know everything, I don’t know if I can really help them. And you have to move through that, and like I said recognize that that’s just your mind trying to keep you stuck, that’s not actually the truth. And I feel like you have to sell to yourself every single day. So we’re not only selling to our clients and through our messaging, we have to sell to ourselves and remind ourselves how incredible we are, how far we’ve come, how much we know, how much our work is needed in the world. And then we’re able to go out and serve.

Tobi: I love that. So how do you do that, is it through journaling, is it through mantras, is it through – how do you remind yourself how amazing you are every day so that you can kind of step into her or beyond her really? Because we have to be willing to believe stuff we haven’t even done yet, seen yet, known yet, said yet. So yeah, so what do you use to become that lady, that future version of you kind of every day?

Emily: I think it’s awareness, first and foremost. I mean I’ll give you some tangible things. But when people are saying nice things to you or sending over testimonials, or feedback or the team members say, “That training was really amazing.” Actually taking that in and really acknowledging what people are saying and the gifts that they’re giving you through their words. Because I think so often we’re like, “Oh no, well, I could have done better, or I don’t know if it was really that great,” and we just kind of shrug it off.

Tobi: Totally, yeah, that perfectionist in us is like, she’s just saying that or she’s just nice. And most people don’t even accept kind of what really is the truth. I feel like we accept a lot of negative thinking that’s not the truth. But we’re unwilling to accept a lot of what really is true, right?

Emily: Exactly, yeah, and then every single Friday my team and my clients and I all have Celebration Friday or Success Friday where we celebrate all the amazing things that have happened that week. And so I just started to do that for myself, if I was going to teach my clients to do it, I had to do it for myself. And so we actually celebrate multiple days of the week, any time anything happens, big or small, just acknowledging it.

And then I used a lot of tips or tools, like post-it notes, I would have post-it notes all around my house, I still have some on my computer, basically says I always have enough money for all my desires, just little phrases.

Tobi: That’s good.

Emily: Yeah, that will remind me what I’m capable of and what’s possible. And then I also use alarms on my phone, so it’s really just thinking about the things that you do every single day or what you’re looking at every single day that can be a reminder. Even we made these desktop screensavers, the one I have right now it says, “Anything and everything I desire is possible for me.”

So, again, just reaffirming all those core beliefs of possibility and I can create whatever I desire, whatever is in my heart is meant for me, I always have enough money for all of my desires, all that is written.

Tobi: So good, I love it. And again, just so everybody gets this, it’s truly just deciding to believe that that works. And I think that’s what’s so funny, because it’s like, well, I could try it and see if it works but most people don’t go there, they’re like, “That’s silly,” or, “That’s weird,” or, “That’s woo woo,” Or, “That feels uncomfortable.” And it’s always so funny to me because I’m like, “Why don’t you just try it first before you decide it doesn’t work. What if it did work?” And so many people don’t, I love that.

So that’s really all in that realm of money mindset. And I’m going to ask you a question in a second about your – because you spoke about who you want to help and I think that’s an issue for a lot of people too. But anything else in the realm of money mindset that really is important as people really start to become this person who makes what she’s worth and – or beyond what maybe you currently believe your worth, and builds this life that you dream of?

Emily: Well, I think for the people who are saying, “I don’t want to try that, it’s not going to work for me,” I would ask them to be really real with themselves about why they’re resisting that change. And most of the time it boils down to fear. And so when you’re allowing fear to run the show, so to speak, it’s going to give you more fear. You’re not going to be in a place of service, you’re not going to get the life that you desire. You’re not going to be making money. And so you have to start to shift and focus on the things that you want in order to move past that fear.

So it’s not just that people are stubborn, it’s that they’re scared, and so I really feel that awareness is the key to everything that people want, it’s the key to making more money. And when you’re aware of the ways in which you’re holding yourself back and your mind is keeping you stuck, only then are you free to make a change and actually take different steps towards your dreams. And so, yeah, I think it’s awareness.

Tobi: Yeah. And I think when you’re saying that, I think I also noticed that so often, people have disconnected from their desires.

There’s somehow that they don’t think they really deserve it, or that would be selfish, or that would be greedy, or that would be – especially when we’re going through times like coronavirus or something else, a recession. And people are like, “Well, how can I want in the coronavirus, or in a recession, or in some other situation, how can I want a seven figure business, or an eight figure business? Wouldn’t that be selfish or greedy, and why can’t I be happy with what I have?”

And I think that’s really important to notice, so do you have any comments around that of how to kind of connect with? Because of course, if you heart your life you’re going to be willing to connect with what you really want, what your real desires are.

Emily: Well, I think we have to give ourselves permission, first and foremost, to acknowledge what it is that we actually want. Because when we judge what we want, then we’re going to be in resistance of it, we’re going to block it because subconsciously, if you think about it, like your subconscious is something separate to you.

If you’re resisting and judging the thing that you want, like say you’re saying, “I want the seven figure business,” but deep down you feel guilty over it. Well, you’re going to stop yourself from actually getting it, because you don’t want to be that person that you’re judging. And so I think it’s…

Tobi: Yes, that’s good.

Emily: Yeah, you have to recognize what is coming up for you in terms of judgment around your desires, and where is that judgment coming from? And most of our money stories are passed down from our parents, grandparents, society.

Our money story is set by the time we’re eight years old, and so we’re bringing all these belief systems into our business that are no longer serving us. And so we have to think about our mind as that operating system that needs a reboot. And unless you make the shifts, you’re going to be operating with a system that’s ancient and it’s not going to get you the results that you want. So it’s very black and white from my perspective.

Tobi: Yeah. And I love how you said that, because of course, we have so much in common and we think a lot alike. But I hadn’t really thought of it exactly in this way that I just got from you, like a little aha that I love there. Because all the time I watch people stop themselves from doing things in the moment, like not going live on Instagram or something for fear of being judged. Or not charging a price that’s worthy of the work they’re actually doing in the world for fear of being judged or rejected.

But I hadn’t really seen it the way you just said it of if you’re already judging your desires, it’s really kind of – and you don’t want to become her, that person who makes seven figures, it’s the same thing, it’s still fear of being judged, but on a great big level and you’ve really just killed your dream. It’s never going to happen if you’re always afraid of being judged for that. And I hadn’t really – I mean it’s a lot of commonsense in a lot of ways.

But it was – I hadn’t really seen it sort of in that overarching way. I’ve always seen it in little bitty ways that we don’t show up. And I’m like that’s crazy, they’re judging you anyway, just go do it. But this level of self-judgment that we might not even know we have, and then we wonder why we keep running up against the ceiling of not becoming a six figure or a seven figure or beyond, entrepreneur. And maybe it’s because we’re already negatively judging the thing we say we want, right?

Emily: Exactly.

Tobi: Yeah, so good. Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about finding your people that you work with, because you said you started looking for your people. And I love that, because what I think so often happens is people are afraid to look for a person, even though they’ve heard everyone in the world say, “You need your ideal client, avatar, or a niche,” or whatever. I think I love that, you immediately were like, “Well, who can I serve, who his she or he?” But I mean for a lot of us it’s she. And I think that’s really important.

And I watch so many people also be afraid of the ‘pigeonholing’ or all the things that they think serving a specific or even a small group of people would bring to them, when we both know it’s actually the opposite. So what made you so comfortable moving there almost instantly of like who am I going to serve and how have you continued to use that to help grow your business?

Emily: Yeah, I think it was kind of by accident, to be honest with you. So in the beginning I was trying to serve everyone in the world, just like most people do. And but then I realized, if I’m going to be a Jack of all trades, people aren’t really going to resonate with that.

And I had someone explain it to me like, “If you’re a doctor of a specific type of cancer or you’re a specialist. Of course the person with that cancer is going to want to go to the person who’s the specialist, who sees that case time after time.” And that’s the same for your clients, they want to go to a specialist, not somebody who does everything and serves everyone.

And so when I finally got it through my head that I needed to kind of niche down, again it was that big question mark of okay, but who am I going to serve? What am I going to talk about? What is my message going to be? But as my business developed, more and more people came to me wanting to know how to build a business.

And, frankly, I started off as like a life coach, a mindset coach, everything under the sun, a career coach. And had no real direction besides this vision of I Heart My Life. But as my business grew, more people came to me and wanted to know more about how I was able to do it. And as my bank account transformed and I shared that story openly and honestly, more people wanted to know about the money side of things.

And so I think sometimes we over-think it, and if we actually just get out there and start sharing our story and talking about the things that we love talking about, a lot of this actually happens naturally and kind of falls into place itself.

Tobi: Yeah, I love that. And I’m with you, my favorite person to serve, just like you, is a person just a few years ago, because then essentially I am my own ideal client. So I know what she’s thinking, I know what she’s afraid of, I know what she felt like, and when she felt overwhelmed. And you know that too, which I think is so great. And I think sometimes when we’re just trying to think, who could I serve, and we want to just pluck a person out of the world, and we don’t have a connection to them. I feel like that’s part of the problem.

Does that mess up that whole clarity of purpose and who should I serve thing?

Emily: Well, I think you have to think, like I always ask my clients to think about, if they got on stage tomorrow and they had to share one message, what would that message be? And normally that thing that you love talking about, whether it’s your story, or some sort of expertise, that’s a huge part of your work in the world. And so I knew I love talking about possibility, I knew that my story lended itself really well to women in a quarter life crisis, who knew they were meant for something big. I knew that just like you, I was my ideal client, and so I started there.

And then once I was able to share more about my journey and start teaching and get my feet wet, then that message evolved even more.

Tobi: Yeah, I love that, it’s so good. So, do you think everybody needs to be, like can you build a great business if you’re not your own ideal client?

Emily: I think you can, but I think the most important thing is to be as specific as possible. Like I always think about it, especially in the beginning, you’re standing on a platform maybe the size of a tree stump; it’s you and one other person. And if you do it like that, first and foremost, you’re going to get – it’s going to be so much easier from a marketing perspective, because you’re literally just going to be talking to one person, it’ll be super dialed in.

Then as you grow and you get to be like the Tony Robbins of the world, your platform is now the size of a stage. And you can hold a variety of different people, you can talk about finances, you can talk about life satisfaction, relationships, deep work, all of it, like what he talks about. You can have books, you can have all the different ways in which you reach people, but you have to start off on that smaller platform.

Otherwise if you’re trying to run a Facebook Ad to a million different types of people, or host events for tons of people, like it’s just going to get confusing. And you’re not going to have the willpower, the stamina, or the hands, or the time to market to everyone.

Tobi: Or really the money when you think about it, because I always think of the money, yeah, you could go, be everything to all people if you want to spend a ton of money in marketing. And like all the things, just imagine how much harder it is to convince a whole world of people versus one person. And I think that’s so true, I’ve heard it called, similar to like the stump and then up on the stage, I’ve heard it called like the pond and then the lake and then the ocean. And you have to start with the pond and work your way up.

And any of those analogies are so great to just help you see that if you can be very specific early on then as you get a tribe or an audience you can start to spread your wings a little bit. And they’re going to want to hear everything you have to say. So maybe you didn’t always talk about all the things you talk about now, but you have a tribe of people who came to you for what, like how to build a business like this or how to – like money mindset. And then it starts to become all encompassing with all the things that are important to you, is that how it works for you?

Emily: Yeah. And I did training, breaking down my seven figure year, and it really was only made up of about 500 clients. And so when people think about creating a seven figure business, or even a six figure business they think that they need like thousands of people and it obviously depends on what you’re selling. But I was able to sell to 500 people and it created a seven figure business. And so there are 3.5 billion people online, I think that everyone can find 500 people in their specific niche to purchase from them.

Tobi: Yeah, it’s so tiny, and depending on your price point it might even be 20 people that make you a million dollars. Yeah, I know, I love that too. But in our minds it’s like what, five million people that we need to create the business of our dreams. Yeah, it’s so good. Okay, well, anything else that’s really important, as we kind of wrap this up?

Because I love so much of what you said and relate to so much of it. And really to me, the whole message has just been you just have to decide, you just have to choose, you choose your purpose, you choose your next step, you choose to believe that things are possible. You choose to spend money, like the business you want to become, and it’s just very conscious, intentional living is what it sounds like to me, which I completely agree with.

So anything else in the realm of that, that can help people heart their life, or their business more, because you definitely have done that so well in your own life?

Emily: Thank you. Yeah, I think that element of doubt and just recognizing, you know, I always believe that my desires have been dropped in and they’re meant for me, just like your DNA, it’s a part of you. And there are plenty of things that I want that other people don’t want. And yet, so often, especially as women, we are questioning our desires and we’re feeling like, I don’t know if I can do that, I don’t know if that’s a pie in the sky dream, or, I don’t know what people are going to think. And for me, I always say, “If it’s in your heart you’re ready to start.” And I know that’s so cheesy.

Tobi: That’s good. I love it though; it’s so good, yeah.

Emily: And it’s really just a reminder for me that if it’s a desire then it’s there for a reason, at least to explore it, at least to figure out what it means and take the action. And yes, of course, I’m able to pivot, and it’s not the perfect scenario.

But just at least own the fact that you’re being called to do something, because for me the biggest thing that hurts my heart the most is people in denial around what they’re meant for, what’s possible for them. And seeing people disown these desires that are literally a part of them, calling them, they’re those little whispers, and every single day they’re just turning their back on them or not believing that they’re capable.

Tobi: Yeah, and I think – I don’t know about you, but I think as much as anything, it’s probably the two things, it’s the having to show up and maybe be rejected, and then the money thing. I think those are the two things that stop people from their dreams, do you think so too?

Emily: Yeah, for sure, I mean it’s all around fear. And you have to ask yourself, when you get to the end of your life, do you really want to say that you let a 1200 or 10,000 or whatever, even $100,000 investment keep you from your dreams and keep you from having impact, and keep you from happiness? My God, money is a renewable resource and yet we allow it to stop us from our dreams, what are we doing? That makes no sense.

Tobi: Yes, it’s so good, I love that, you’re right. And yeah, we act like that we can’t get more of it and that it’s limited. And gosh, that’s such a great point that I think we forget that really – am I really going to let 5,000, 10,000, even $50,000. Because when you think about how much money you waste over a few year period or even in a year trying to – and suffering and trying to figure out, and doing the things that you’re not meant to be doing. I think we waste so much money even just buffering our feelings, and that doesn’t move us forward.

Yet when we’re like I need to spend $1200 on that or 2,000, or even like you said, 7500, I couldn’t possibly do that. Yet we’re not really thinking about it in the big picture of things. Because kind of like how time passes anyway, we’re going to be spending money anyway on something, most of us, and why not be spending it on the thing intentionally that you really want to build, or be, or do? Yeah, I love that, it’s so good.

Well, thank you so much for the conversation, it was really fun. I like that we – I mean these interviews are always loose, but I love that ours just feels like it kind of even evolved a little more than they sometimes do, which is so good. Because that’s really sort of a path that I think people’s brains go on when they go on this thing, it’s like I don’t know who I am and maybe I should be this. No, that’s not good enough. And so we kind of just followed that whole path to help them really learn to love their life and it was really fun, and I appreciate you.

Emily: Thank you so much, and thank you for your questions, I hope this serves all your audience.

Tobi: I know they’ll love it, thank you, Emily.

Emily: You’re welcome.

Okay, right, good one, they’re always so good. I listen to them again sometimes when I have a minute, I’m like, “That one was so good.” And I think we’re definitely going to look back on this episode as one of those that helps inspire us to be who we really want to be and really step into it, because I love how Emily has done just that.

So if you want to know more about Emily, check out our show notes, find her on Instagram and social, her business is called I Heart My Life, and she is out there creating amazing change for people every day. And she would love to hear from you, and so would I. So, thank you so much for listening to today’s episode, and I’ll see you back again next week with another really good one, I promise. See you then, bye for now.

Thank you so much for listening to the Design You podcast, and if you are ready to dig deep and do the important work we talk about here on the podcast of transforming your mindset and creating a scalable online business model, there has never been a more important time than right now. So join me and the incredible creative entrepreneurs in my Design You coaching program today. You can get all the details at TobiFairley.com.

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Hi! I'm Tobi

I help creative women (and a few really progressive dudes) design profit-generating, soul-fulfilling businesses that let them own their schedule, upgrade their life and feel more alive than ever!

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