End-of-year reflection_A.J. Lawrence_Beyond 8 Figures

End-of-Year Reflection with A.J. Lawrence, The JAR Group

December 28, 2022

In this end-of-year reflection for 2022, A.J. shares a brief recap of some of the highlights of the Beyond 8 Figures journey, what you can expect from us in the future, and how to make 2023 your best year as an entrepreneur to date!

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[00:01:14] A.J. Lawrence: One of the key measures of success for me has been the quality of our guests, and this year has been very fruitful in the learnings and insights they’ve brought to the show. Each episode is something unique to offer, but there are some common topics that I wanted to share with you.

[00:01:29] The first one that comes to head is the importance of community for business success. It was so interesting. And thanks to the podcast, I had the opportunity to learn so much more from different experts like Craig Swanson and Jason Wong about how they use communities to grow out their business, and just some of the opportunities to really think about community-led business growth. Kind of a cool concept that obviously has been hitting hard over the past year of change, but it’s something we should all think more about where our businesses are and the community around them.

[00:02:00] Second one that comes to mind is using entrepreneurship to create a positive impact in the world. Now, I’ve always said that entrepreneurship is really just solving problems on a continuous basis. But some of these problems that some of our guests had are really big and they have a major impact into the world.

[00:02:19] You know, at Beyond 8 Figures, I wholeheartedly believe entrepreneurship can be a force for good. We had guests like Dora Palfi, Justin Cochrane, Hana Mohan, and Nima Tisdall, who are surely going after some really big issues in different ways. Some of them not even directly with their businesses, but because of what their business allows them to do.

[00:02:43] I mean, look, this is what makes entrepreneurship so much fun. You can create change in the world. That’s the coolest thing I think any of us can do in the world. And so these entrepreneurs are great examples of how growing a successful business can positively impact the world.

[00:03:01] Overcoming fear and getting out of your comfort zone was another key theme that I learned a lot given my own experiences in the past. I mean, Dru Riley, who pretty much put himself on this radical path after not being able to achieve his early goals, he’s now killing it and growing like crazy. I mean, really amazing. Reg Zeller, I mean Reg, is just as nice as they come and what he’s doing and his roll up and building of the foundries under his company with his partners and how he’s looking to kind of build that for the long term and what that means is just there isn’t a cooler person you can learn from if you’re thinking of acquiring and rolling up companies.

[00:03:48] Melissa Houston, Nik Tsoukales, and Chris Shipferling are also really amazing people who are pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and really overcoming fears. They all talked about how to take risks, learn and grow, the different ways, the tools, the techniques they used, and how they pursue opportunities that are outside the current capabilities or experiences to help them grow.

[00:04:13] We also know we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the people who help us, who are team, partners, our employees. People like Ray Kimble, Matteo Cervelli, Michelle Penczak, Anthony Hayes, all talked about the importance of focusing at leading to grow your team, to keep them happy and motivated, to really push them to be better.

[00:04:36] Matter of fact, some of them even talked about helping them be better than they are, and I love that concept because I always believe my employees are better than I am. Some of the other inspiring guests we’ve had on the show were folk like Elliott Holland who’s helping me so much, and we’ll have an episode soon about what he’s been doing to help me acquire my first big company.

[00:04:59] But still, Ramon van Meer inspired me so much with what he’s done in acquiring a small e-commerce company and turning into juggernaut. Dru Riley again, gotta love just the output of value he creates with his community and his research. Kara Goldin, for really creating the concept and really being the north star of mission-driven. Gotta love how reverse engineering what she’s done with her mission-driven business, just amazing.

[00:05:33] Stefan Von Imhof, so amazing. I actually invested in. So you know, if you’re into alternative investments, really just what they’ve done. And then one of my favorite guests of the year, Dominnique Karetsos, helping women around the world and just the focus in something that just so recently was titillating and that it’s just pretty much mainstream. So as an investor, as a leader, Dominique is doing some truly, truly amazing things out there.

[00:06:03] And look, there were so many other amazing guests. I want to thank each and every one of them for bringing their best selves and sharing their experiences with us on the show. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had a chance to connect with them and learn from each of them.

[00:06:17] Our goal for the next year is to bring even more inspiring and diverse entrepreneurs to provide value to you and help you learn from their experiences. If there’s an entrepreneur you think we should interview, send us their name. Or if there’s a type of entrepreneurship or type of business you wanna learn more about someone in the thick of it, just let us know and the team and I will go out and try and make it happen.

[00:06:41] As the year comes to a close, many of us start preparing for next year, so it’s really a good time to start thinking about how we can set ourself up for success. Whether you’re starting out on your entrepreneurial journey or you’re an experienced owner, taking the time to prepare for the year ahead can help us achieve our goals and reach new success.

[00:07:01] It’s not a guarantee, but after many, many years of not AB testing, but doing it and not doing it, I have noticed the years I’ve done it I tend to be better off than the years that I don’t. So just from personal experience and from many conversations, year end planning really will help you incrementally and directionally correct. That’s all we can hope for.

[00:07:26] So look, here’s a few steps. Reflect on the past year, take some time to review what worked and what didn’t. Who helped you? Who made you feel better? What are the things that added to your excitement to be an entrepreneur? Reflect on those.

[00:07:45] There are so many processes out there. We’ll talk about this and other friction. Find the one that works for you. It doesn’t really matter which process, as long as you go through the steps of giving yourself some time to reflect, hope and plan. So first, as I said, reflect on the past year. This just helps you focus your efforts moving forward and make more strategic decisions in the coming year, cuz you can refine where you’re going.

[00:08:13] Were you right? Were you wrong? Were you off? From that reflection, set some clear goals for yourself. Have clear, time-focused, specific goals that can help you stay motivated and focused throughout the year. Make sure the goals are measurable, achievable, push yourself a little or a lot depending on the type of person you are, but make sure they’re pushing you out of that comfort zone. And consider then how to break them into smaller, more manageable steps. Then you can create a plan.

[00:08:45] Now, this is also something from experience. Very often, I’ve created very big specific goals, and then sort of just let them stand in my memory, rent free. Creating a plan to achieve them, even if you break it right away, it helps. It moves you forward and you can consistently adapt that plan.

[00:09:07] No plan should ever reach its conclusion, especially over the course of a year, and be exactly as you wrote it, unpack at the beginning of the year. Give yourself permission to break your plan, but revise it. Create feedback loops, weekly, monthly, whatever. Go into this, realizing that to achieve your goals, it’s gonna change throughout the process, how you go about it, but enjoy that process.

[00:09:37] Then, thinking about that enjoyment of doing the work, define what success is going to be. This is really important because too often, I know in my past I’ve taken external success cues, X dollar amount, Y type of business, achievement of recognition, whatever. They weren’t personal. As I’ve leaned in and given myself more time to be the entrepreneur I want to be, I’ve found more enjoyment in this. And I believe completely from talking with our guests over the past year that this is the thing that really matters most in success as an entrepreneur, is defining what that is for you, not for anyone else, but for you.

[00:10:25] This way, it can help you set the goals and it can give you the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you achieve them because this is so important. Achieving external goals never felt really cool for me. Achieving internal goals, when I finally gave myself permission to have an internalized goals, really kind of had that fun, bright, warm, fuzzy, you know how to kind of explain it cuz it’s personal, but it worked for me. Ultimately, defining success for yourself is essential for achieving what is going to be important and making it worthwhile.

[00:11:04] Give yourself permission to explore, to fail, to kind of throw something up and go, I know this isn’t it but it’s directionally, and then refine and refine and refine. You’ll know when it’s your personal goals, so step into it. Stay focused and motivated. It’s easy to get sidetracked. I am past pro and probably candidate for bright shiny object syndrome.

[00:11:35] It is easy as an entrepreneur, especially when you get in those first early steps and into latest success, to constantly have things coming at you that look cool. Make sure to stay focused and regularly review your progress to stay motivated.

[00:11:49] We have people like Dru who literally sits there and spends an hour every day. Now, the value he’s creating is amazing. Dru Riley is doing amazing things. But that’s a hard, hard effort and discipline. We have Ray Kimble, who also works incredibly hard and is having incredible success with his company, and he goes through a shorter, more focused daily effort. There is no right or wrong. That’s just that effort to create consistency in reviewing your progress.

[00:12:28] Take the path that’s gonna work for you. But take it, do the effort, and you’ll be surprised. Even if step by step, it doesn’t feel like much, it adds up incrementally and literally at the end of the year, you’ll be surprised at how much further you are.

[00:12:47] It takes dedication and hard work to succeed as a business owner. Achieving some of your goals and recognizing them just helps you as you move forward. Because when you face new challenges, and you will, knowing that you’ve had passed previous challenges and you’ve overcome them, will help you face the new ones.

[00:13:08] Will success ever be linear? No matter who you listen to or what program or what community you’re joining, no. There’s no such thing as linear success, let alone rocket ship success. Yes, there are people who win lotteries or seem like they blast off, no effort, just rubbing two sticks and boom they’re billionaire. But the reality is there’s so much that goes behind the scenes.

[00:13:33] There’s so much there, and you are the person stepping into the behind the scenes of your own journey. So it’s important to remember that success is never gonna be linear. There’ll be ups and downs. The key is to stay focused on your goals, your means. Stay true to your values, whatever they may be, and be willing to adapt and learn from your experiences.

[00:13:57] Stay resilient and determined. You can overcome your challenges and come your way to continue to make progress towards your vision of success. If at any time you need help to do that, reach out. I’m always available for a chat, talk, or to find you resources you need.

[00:14:16] You give me so much by listening every week. If you need some help, give me a clear, detailed reason, shoot it out to me and let’s jump on a call and I will be there to help you get back on pace. Thank you so much for listening.

[00:14:31] And of course for the next year, we have some really ambitious goals for Beyond 8 Figures. While the priority rule remain interviewing the most prominent entrepreneurs we can find to inspire your business growth, we’ve come to the point where we want to expand our reach.

[00:14:47] Trust me, growing a podcast is not as easy as it seems. I don’t know if it is, as it seems, but still not easy. But nothing makes me happier than knowing that it helps entrepreneurs all over the world. Next year, we want to create more opportunities for collaboration and connection of our listeners. We believe that building a strong community around our podcast is an essential part of its success, and we’re always looking for ways to engage with our audience and foster collaboration, whether through responding to comments and reviews, hosting some live events or just Q&A sessions collaborating with other podcasters or even industry experts.

[00:15:29] We are committed to finding ways to create value for our listeners and build a community of like-minded individuals. In addition to seeking new opportunities for collaboration, we’re also excited to try some new formats in the coming years. We’ve been putting a lot of effort into our YouTube channel, so if you’re a fan of video content, be sure to check out our YouTube channel. It’s growing and it’s kind of cool. Some really cool people are helping us here. We’ll be experimenting with different types of content, from live streams to interviews and more, and we’re excited to see what resonates with you.

[00:16:02] Whether you prefer audio or video, or even just straight up written words, there’ll be something for you in the ne year. We hope you’ll join us on this journey and be part of our growing community. Speaking of community, one of our biggest achievements this year was the development of the deliberate entrepreneurship concept.

[00:16:20] Listening to our guests and finding the commonalities of how so many of these entrepreneurs have used different steps, processes, and focuses to help their growth to kind of encapsulate it. So we’re using that for the launch of the Deliberate Entrepreneurs Community.

[00:16:38] If you’re not sure what that is, don’t worry. We’ll dive into the principles of deliberate entrepreneurship in our 100th episode. Yes, it’s been a hundred episodes in just a few week. So stay tuned. But meanwhile, I want to invite you to our community.

[00:16:54] We have some really great, amazing people already in. And if you’re looking to connect with some other like-minded entrepreneurs, get more valuable insights, and support, come join us. This is a great resource for networking, learning from business owners, and getting the support you need to grow your business.

[00:17:14] We’re excited to offer an early bird price to entrepreneurs willing to help us shape this group into the most valuable and supportive community out there. Your feedback is essential, so having some really cool people in there to join us will always be a wonderful thing. We value your honesty in candor.

[00:17:33] By joining at the early bird price for life, you’ll get access to wealth of resources and support and the opportunity to shape the direction and content of the community as it grows. This is going to be a unique opportunity to get on the ground floor and make an impact of how we build this community.

[00:17:51] So, to take advantage of the early bird price, there’s going to be a link in the show notes. We’ll also put it up in some of our emails, but you could just email us and say you heard me say early bird pricing. I’ll send you a link directly and you can take care of it from there. Look, we’re really gonna build the best community for entrepreneurship, about the entire journey we take as entrepreneurs.

[00:18:18] Before I go, two more things. I want to thank the amazing production team that makes me sound so much better than I do in real life. The Make The Cut production team is amazing. I had such a journey to find a good, smooth production process, and they’ve been more magical than I could ever imagine. They’ve done a fantastic job of helping me and the team here produce the Beyond 8 Figures podcast, and I couldn’t be happier.

[00:18:51] If you’re thinking about starting a podcast or have a podcast, I highly recommend giving Make The Cut a try. They’re a talented and professional team that’s dedicated to helping you create the best podcast possible. Whether you need help with recording, editing, distribution, strategy, social media, they have the expertise and resources to make your show a success.

[00:19:16] They’re great. Go give them a call. They will help you take your podcast or your concept to the next level. If you mentioned that you’ve heard about them here on Beyond 8 Figures, they probably will give you a pretty good discount. So just tell them A.J. sent you and I really do appreciate it. Now, the most important thank you.

[00:19:38] As we wrap up another year, I wanna take this opportunity for the team and I to thank you for tuning in week after week and listen to these interviews. It’s been a journey for me to learn how to better interview people and to get more value from this. And I hope to continue this journey of learning and creating more value. So the feedback over this past year has been amazing, been tough at times, and also surprisingly gracious. So thank you.

[00:20:08] Your support means so much. And we look forward to continue to bring you valuable insights and perspectives on the world of business, on the entrepreneurial journey in the coming year. I value your feedback and we’d love to hear from you on your thoughts for the show. If you have a moment, it would be greatly appreciated if you could just leave a review on your listening platform of choice or email us your thoughts.

[00:20:31] Your feedback helps us improve the show and bring you the content you want to hear. We hope you’ve enjoyed listening to Beyond 8 Figures, and we look forward to continue bringing you valuable insights and information in the coming year.

[00:20:45] Thank you for the support and I can’t wait to talk with you some more. Happy New Year, and I’ll talk to you next year. Bye-bye.

[00:20:57] This episode of Beyond 8 Figures is over, but your journey as an entrepreneur continues. So if we can help you with anything, please just let us know. And if you liked this episode, please share it with someone who might learn from it. Until next time, keep growing and find the joy in your journey. This is A.J., and I’ll be talking to you soon. Bye-bye.

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