By Lacey Filipich BEng(Hons) MAICD NFP Gov (Cert)
After six years of struggling to get my course on financial independence out of my head and into an easily digestible format for the masses, I’d had enough of ‘part-time entrepreneurism’. I decided I was taking our Achieving Financial Independence course online. This post is a summary of what I learned in the process. I hope you enjoy it.
Setting the scene: The Goal
I’d dabbled in self-published books, blogged prolifically and delivered the course in person several times. It just wasn’t what I wanted it to be – a life-changing course that anyone could access. Then I saw Shaa Wasmund’s book on my shelf: ‘Stop Talking, Start Doing’. I took it as a sign that it was time to cut out the distractions and just GET IT DONE. That, or forget the whole thing and give it up completely. I knew I couldn’t do the latter and sleep easily until I’d given it a red-hot go. I opted for the former.
I set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal: commit the whole month of February 2016 – 29 days this leap year – to getting the Money School course online. Whatever I had on 29 February, that’s what was getting launched. As a recovering perfectionist, I knew this meant I would work my backside off for the entire month to make sure it was as good as I could get it by then, but I had a DATE and that was IT. I would become the living, breathing embodiment of ‘Done is better than perfect’.
You may be thinking: What’s the big deal? Six years is plenty of time to think about something, and one month should be more than enough to get it done. Well, there are complicating factors in my life. They are much loved, but still, they don’t make working easy.
Doing it with two small children and an unexcited husband
Firstly, I’m full-time stay-at-home mum to my daughter (3yo) and son (8mo). The 8mo still breastfeeds. A lot. Including through the night. Anyone wishing to criticize me for that can stop right there. He’s my kid and if he wants a feed, he gets one. Anyway, I’m just trying to paint a picture, and it’s this: I’m sleep deprived. I care for my son at night, and when I started Full On February (as I like to call it) I hadn’t had a sleep longer than 4 hours in over six months. Most nights, I get three chunks of two hours. During the project it was much less. Pre-kids, I was an 8-hours-a-night gal. Being constantly exhausted is not a deal breaker, but it’s not ideal either.
Secondly, you meet some people who have partners that are their ‘rock’, their ‘steady boat in a stormy sea’, their ‘number one supporter’. Mine? Not so much. He is at best resigned to my desire to make this idea work. At worst, he’s pissed off about it taking my attention away from our family and that I often assume he’ll fill the gaping void I leave when I announce ‘I’m off upstairs to work’. I don’t blame him. I heaped a bunch more responsibility on him without much consultation. Did I mention he has a full-time job as the manager of a chemical plant? It’s not like he’s got much free time, so this was a big ask – and I didn’t ask, I told. Wife of the year, right?
So, what did I have going for me apart from an idea and a burning desire to bring it to life? Four things:
- A fabulous unpaid support team: my mother and my mother-in-law, who basically stood in for me with the kids most days.
- A fabulous paid support team: an education expert, a film expert, a WordPress guru, my cousins, who I paid to babysit occasionally to support the grandmothers.
- Money: not millions and no angels in my corner, but I’m good with money and at 33yo I don’t have to work (hence the life-changing course on financial independence idea) and I had money set aside for this. I’ve spent $20k at it to get the best professional assistance I could afford.
- Focused time: 29 days of my (almost) undivided attention for 16+ hours a day.
So I went to it, hammer and tongs, and now my course is out my head and out in the world.
What did I learn from this?
1. Don’t accept ‘It can’t be done’
Every professional I worked with said at the end: ‘I didn’t think this could be done, Lacey, but you did it.’ If they’d said that to me at the beginning, I might have had a seed of doubt in my mind. As it was, I carried on oblivious and proved their unspoken doubts wrong. Don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t do it, and don’t ask ‘Can it be done?’ in the first place. Until you’ve tried, you don’t know what you can do.
2. If you don’t have cheerleaders yet, find one
My husband is simply not that guy. I love him with all my heart anyway. My family? Well, they’re obliged to gush over my idea, so I couldn’t tell if it was as good as I thought it was. Then I met Maria Doyle, my education expert. She became my personal cheerleader. You don’t need the perfect supportive partner, or a legion of supporters telling you your idea is the best thing since sliced bread. You need one person, whose opinion you value, genuinely cheering you on. Just one. Then anything is possible.
3. Visualise success
This has helped me conquer any goal I’ve wanted to since I was 10 years old: seeing the thing I wanted happening in my mind. Feeling all the feelings that would come with that. Accepting it as inevitable reality. Somehow, our minds take it from there. Case in point: I’m writing this article on day 26, three days before launch when I’m still yet to see a finished video from the three days of filming, my website is in disarray and I have roughly 20,000 words to churn out in the next two days. But it WILL happen – and I’ll have this post and the launched course to prove it!
Postscript, Monday 4 April 2016
I did launch on 29 February… but I’m still waiting on the videos. Nine of 15 are complete, the rest are in various stages of editing, though I am expecting completion this Friday 8 April (the previous Friday just wasn’t an option – April Fool’s Day). My customers are graciously accepting my offer to extend their membership beyond the original 12 months based on how long this takes me (or rather, how long it takes my film guy to finish the editing). I’m still declaring victory.
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Lacey Filipich is the co-founder and director of Money School. She helps parents raise financially savvy kids and helps adults get on top of their finances. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow the Money School Facebook page to learn more.