Business Update: A seed has to completely destroy itself to become a flower

Sharing March reflections, what went on behind the scenes in the business, and lessons learned as we transition into a new chapter of aligned entrepreneurship. March was an action-packed month of travel and celebrations, but also a realization that what has been working for so long needs to change. If you have been feeling a heaviness with different areas of your business, tune in for a permission slip to completely switch gears!

This week we dive into an honest business review and talk about why it is ok to feel unaligned in business and how to grow past feeling uncomfortable to re-align your goals. Read below to find out why March and my Saturn return (explained in episode!) has been anything but expected!

Prefer to read? Here’s the blog version…

March Business Review & My Saturn Return

Today’s episode is going to be a heart to heart of really honest talk. It’s been a whirlwind of a month. Every month end, we reflect back on the business on my life, and this month I felt really called to share everything that’s been going on behind the scenes.

So a little backstory, a few years ago, one of my followers introduced me to the concept of a Saturn return. And for those of you who aren’t into astrology or spirituality, your Saturn return happens around when you’re like 28 to 32. It’s when Saturn returns to its position when you were born, and that usually takes around, you know, 30 years. And she had told me that my Saturn return was going to happen in March of 2023. So for the past few years, I’ve honestly in the back of my mind just been, I’ve been looking forward to this month. I thought it was going to be when I had so many breakthroughs in business, it was going to be my highest cash month ever.

Yet I was going to feel so aligned. So in my power and I approach this month with so much expectation, and I think because of that, this month has been the most emotionally and physically and mentally draining month that I’ve experienced in a while. It’s also one of my lowest cash months that I’ve experienced in years. And so this was a huge wake up call between expectations and reality, right? You know, when you just feel like something’s gonna happen a certain way and then it just completely does a 180, that’s exactly what this month has felt like.

I’ve honestly been feeling this overall heaviness in my life where things just didn’t feel aligned. A lot of things that I had really enjoyed doing in the past, like content creation, it felt like more of a burden. I’ve had to let go of a few people on the team, a few agencies, and let go of strategies that were just no longer working with my new found values in life and the business direction I want to go in. But with that being said, all things considered when I was reflecting in my Passion Planner, it was actually the first month in years that I had given it a 10 simply because of all the emotions I went through and all the lessons I’ve learned.

So in this episode, I want to share with all of you the lessons that I’ve learned from this rollercoaster of a month where my expectations didn’t match reality. And then moving from Indonesia to Mexico and everything else that has happened that has led me to realize, and I want to convey to all of you that through your struggles is how you’re going to reach the next level. If you are feeling like things aren’t aligned and things aren’t going your way, trust me, that is part of the process. And because I’ve experienced this before where I’ve felt like I’ve reached the lowest of the lows, I know that that’s right before a major breakthrough, I wanted to name this episode Business Update :A seed had to completely destroy itself to become a flower. We watched Honeyboy in Indonesia a few weeks ago, and they said this quote in the movie, it just hit me so hard. It was truth, it was the truth, right? Like if you wanna reach the next level in your life or your business, you can’t be doing things the same way. Big shifts need to happen, and usually it comes in the form of discomfort, of questioning yourself, of self-doubt, of realigning. It’s not going to be comfortable. I’ve watched so many of my clients reach these breakthroughs and they’ve had to cut off relationships that they, that were no longer serving them.

They had to quit jobs that once brought them so much joy, but just wasn’t aligned anymore. They had to reevaluate their business direction. So I’ve seen this over and over and over, and if you are going through the same thing, know that the answers will come Personally, I don’t have answers yet, but I’m getting closer and closer. And my intention for this episode is by sharing everything I’m learning as I go, you can take away things that will serve you in the next chapter as well. 

Being Honest With Yourself On What Doesn’t Align 

So things that didn’t feel aligned this month, one of the biggest things was when I was traveling from Indonesia to Mexico, I had to take three to four days off in the business because we were simply, you know, not connected to wifi.

I was moving, we were on these like 15 hour plane rides, and I just didn’t have the mental capacity to be serving clients, to be responding to emails and being as active in the business as I wanted to. Also had my best friend’s wedding towards the end of the month. So I had to take four days off of that because there was virtually no internet, no cell connection on Isla Hosh. And throughout all of that, what I’ve realized is my income took a dip because I was no longer able to promote, to create content, to be as visible as I had wanted to. It had also made me realize, because my partner loves to sail and we’ve talked about living on a sailboat for a few months, is that with my current business model, I wouldn’t be able to do that.

I don’t have the support, the team members, the systems in place to completely tune out for three to six months, right? So that felt unaligned. Another really major thing that happened is one of my day one inspirations when I transitioned from being a travel influencer to a business coach, she had completely quit her business because she was burnt out. And it was surreal how big of an impact this had made on my mindset. Because imagine if you were looking up to someone for years and years and years and you’ve seen their growth and you’ve seen their business, and for so long you thought that’s what you wanted.

But behind the scenes, and ultimately you saw that they weren’t happy and they had to completely leave it in order to keep their sanity. That had a tremendous impact on me because I started questioning, is that what I want? I actually love the freedom I have for myself. I love being able to step away for a few days. I love this business that I’ve built, but I’m questioning now if I grow it to the extent that I thought I had originally wanted, would I be happy or would I be on this content creation hamster wheel and be burnt out and following the footsteps of someone who is unhappy and unfulfilled?

So that was another big thing that happened that made me realize, hey, like is this what I want? Let me, let me clarify and be sure before I invest more time and energy and effort into this direction. 

My 30’s Crisis

Another thing, guys, I am turning 30 in June, so I feel like I’m having this little like midlife crisis, not midlife, and it’s not quarter life, but I guess like a new decade crisis where I really want to be sure that this next step I take myself and my business in my thirties is something that I am really sure about where nothing feels unaligned and I want to grow and build something exceptional that I love running.

And in order to do that, I think one of the biggest things that I’ve been struggling with lately is really defining my ideal client. If you look at the Wanderlover community (join for free here), if you look at Momentum Mastermind and my private coaching clients, people come from all walks of life. Ultimately, every single one of them are creative and they love traveling. Like those are fundamentally the type of types of people I attract. However, because I’ve come from a travel influencer, content creation background, I’ve created products like the Travel Influencer Handbook that served travel influencers, and they don’t necessarily segue into products like the Academy where it’s mostly focused on coaches and creatives, right?

And then now I, with this wealth of experience that I’ve built running group programs, running private coaching programs, I am kind of conflicted in terms of who exactly I am trying to help. Am I trying to blanket help so many people, or do I want to niche down, right? Do I want to niche down into just coaches or just content creators or just influencers? And that is something I’m still trying to decide. And I see it as a good thing because I’ve been able to run my business as all of these things and do exceptionally well. Like I’m just so grateful that even when I’m having these lower income months, I’m still making significantly more than my corporate finance job and I am traveling full-time, right? So I’m not trying to say like I’m really upset at the situation I’m in. I’m simply trying to say that these struggles are so essential for growth and it’s still moving upwards, even though it feels like you’re taking a few steps back. 

Adjusting Marketing Strategies

Another thing that has felt unaligned this month were my marketing strategies. I really had to look at my numbers, really figure out what was converting and what was working, and let go of strategies of people, of team members that I’ve felt unaligned with, with for a while, but just didn’t do anything about it because it was easier to let it just run, let everything go as is instead of having those difficult conversations of letting people go and stopping work for people who’ve been on my team for years.

And that was uncomfortable, but I felt such a weight lifted when I finally had that conversation and when I finally did what I knew was right for the business. 

Re-evaluating and Re-aligning My Path

The last thing that felt unaligned is realizing that I think for the past few months I’ve just been following what others have been doing. Instead of really looking inward and taking into inventory what brings me joy, what feels aligned, and letting go, again, this concept of letting go of the old, so letting go of what didn’t bring me joy and what felt like I, what felt like it needed to be done, just because other people are doing it and it works, right?

And coming to that realization is just so powerful. Like you don’t need to do Instagram if it doesn’t bring you joy anymore. And that’s a big permission slip I had to give myself because I created a personal brand around it. I’ve used Instagram for so many years, it was this one platform that I’ve dedicated so much time and energy into, and I have so many connections on there, and it just felt like I was cheating on it. It felt like I was leaving or breaking up with something that gave me so much. But on the other hand, like recording these podcast episodes, I jump in front of my microphone every week because I’m like, I have so much to share. I can’t wait to record this episode, and the energy is just different, and I hope you guys can hear it in my voice.

And I love that you’re able to hear my voice, that this platform just feels more aligned. So I’m going to pursue that. And I gave myself that permission slip. I hope you do too. So instead of having to try to roll this giant rock up a hill, try to find something else that works better for you. I’m not saying get rid of marketing completely. You do need some way, shape, or form of marketing, but it doesn’t have to be in a way that feels unaligned. 

Adjusting Expectations & Being Grateful 

So with that being said, I was reflecting this month, felt like it had this heaviness because I had all of that expectation on it. I had the expectation that I was gonna hit my highest income month, yet I was waiting for it to happen.

And instead as it progressed, I just got more and more distant. But when I was reflecting as we do with weekly wins, I always come back to the wins. And it was actually a glorious month. Despite having this underlying heaviness, I cannot forget to celebrate all the incredible wins that we’ve had in business and in life. First off, my best friend (and business partner) got married. That was surreal. Being on a remote island with no internet, celebrating with all my friends from childhood. It was so beautiful, so magical, and so many happy tears of joy or cried over the weekend.

And I started a new business in Anguilla. That’s something that’s really exciting and it’s official in March, I now own another business in the Caribbean, so I am celebrating that. I reunited with one of my closest friends in Kuala Lumpur in the beginning of March, which is crazy to think about. You know, I was in Asia at the beginning of the month and now I’m in Mexico. So things like that that just feel like I’m going through the motions when I look back, it’s actually so surreal. And obviously I never forget how blessed I am to be living this life, to be recording this episode for you guys and having it be my career.

Like I always go back. So it’s always just so important to go back to gratitude. I met so many incredible people this month from new surfers, women’s surf communities, online entrepreneurs. I’ve connected with old friends, made new friends, stayed in five star hotels, went to so many airport lounges. So it was truly a great, great month. And I think that contrast really speaks levels on what you choose to focus on in your life, in your month, in your weeks, in your day. Like are you focusing on everything that is going wrong or are you focusing on everything that is going right, right? And that’s why we always come back to the wins because I guarantee you the wins are there, the ups are there.

It’s always going to be a choice of which side you feed, and that’s what’s gonna attract either blessings or curses into your life. 

Lessons Learned 

Next, I want to share with you all of the lessons learned. I think this was a month of many, many lessons, and as a business owner, you know, we’re always trying to reach that next level. We’re always trying to reach that next income goal or get more clients or launch a new product or grow your marketing.

There’s always something to be worked on. And because I really took this month to kind of reset, to go back to square one, ask myself what fuels aligned, what doesn’t? I’ve learned that personally because I want this freedom, this true freedom-based lifestyle where I can choose to switch off for six months to go sailing on a sailboat with my partner and not have to worry about the business. I want to set that up for myself, and I know it’s possible. And so what I am going to really hone in on moving forward are more passive and sustainable strategies outside of things like Facebook ads.

So seo, we had Ragz come on last week talking about seo, being searchable on Google, creating content that ranks you up higher so people can search it years and years after you’ve published. So SEO is a big one. I also am still going forward with YouTube because YouTube is another searchable platform. And the main thing that I’ve learned from this is I want to go back to digital products. So eBooks and courses, eBooks and courses have been the two income streams that have consistently made me money even when I’m not in front of the computer taking calls or answering emails.

And that’s what I started the Wanderlover with. I started with digital products because I knew I wanted to scale, but then because everyone else was doing like one-on-one mentoring and group programs, I thought that’s what I had to do. I still love one-on-one clients and I still love my group programs. I’m still going to do them, but I’m gonna put more of an emphasis on building these systems and these funnels that allow me to step away. If you are looking to add in a stream of income that’s not dependent on your time, please let me know. I’ve just had so much experience building out so many different products and services, and I can really attest how much of a difference a digital product will make in your business because you will be able to scale it so much quicker and so much easier than something that’s tied to your time.

Recognise Your Achievements & Acknowledge When You Move the Goal Post

Another thing that’s really given me perspective is realizing that you are already at the top of the mountain. I feel like as human beings, we’re always trying to reach this next level. We always feel like there’s something that’s missing, that we’re gonna be happier if we accomplish X, Y, z. So important to take a step back. Like right now, the life that I’m living is what I’ve dreamed about five years ago, and yet I’m still trying to reach that next income goal. And same thing with my inspiration. That completely left her business. She wasn’t happy with making multiple millions a year.

There was always like 10 million, right? Like a hundred million. There’s always going to be that next level. So it’s just so important to come back to your present and focus on what is going right, because there is always going to be something that is going wrong or you feel like you need to be doing better. And if you make it a habit to continuously focus on that, it’s always gonna feel like something is lacking. So recognize like you are already at the top. It’s such a blessing to be in the position you’re currently in. If you have a full-time job, if you are putting food on your plate, if you have a roof over your head, if you’ve started your business and you have the opportunity to go location independent, right? Like these are all such big, big blessings, never forget that. 

Another really important lesson that I’ve learned as a digital nomad, as and as a full-time traveler for the past five plus years, your friendships with your childhood friends or your closest friends from maybe when you were in college or just your friends who you’ve maintained relationships for the longest amount of time. They are so important When you’re meeting people in different communities, when you’re traveling, it be, it usually is so transient, you see them for a few months, you form this incredible bond and then you leave, right?

And not, I’m not saying those aren’t special, but your friends who have known you since so many chapters of your life, never forget how important those people are. Call them on a regular basis. Maintain your friendships with them. Because ultimately, like what I’ve learned is that it transcends any other relationship. You can have business success and you can have full-time travel and you can have the most fulfilling and supportive of relationships, but you have to dedicate the time to that. You have to make an effort, make the call, follow up, maintain all of these moving pieces in order to build something that truly lifts you up even when you’re feeling so down.

I am welcoming this next chapter of aligned entrepreneurship. As I enter a new decade in my life, I am getting rid of everything that isn’t working. Again, A seed has to completely destroy itself in order to become a flower. I am welcoming all this destruction with open arms. I will update you guys when I have answers. Like I said before, I don’t have the answers, the full answers yet, but I’m getting closer and closer, right? You, you guys can see what kind of business I want to be building, what kind of energy I want to have when I run my business.

And it’s okay to want change. It’s okay to step into something new, even if it scares you. Even if you don’t have the answers, I guarantee you you’re going to come out of it stronger than ever, more profitable than ever, more empowered than ever view. All of these struggles whenever you encounter them as learning experiences, it truly gives you so much perspective. And for me, I ranked it a 10 on a scale of one to 10. This month was a 10. It wasn’t a 10 as how I expected it to be a 10, but you never know how this can change you.

So happy April. Guys, it is spring. It is time for New Beginnings. It’s time for a new chapter. Thank you for being here with me. Thank you for being a part of my journey. I literally would not be here without you guys, and I wouldn’t be living this life if it weren’t for you. So truly from the bottom of my heart, I think at each and every single one of you, if you have any questions or if you would just like to chat, my dms are always open. You can also join the free Wanderlover community on Facebook to connect with other creative travel loving entrepreneurs. I will see you guys in the next episode. Have an amazing week.

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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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