Being Tested By The Universe: How To Tell If You Should Keep Going Or Not

Being Tested By The Universe

In high school, I tapped into my nerdy side on a regular basis. I didn’t necessarily love school or exams, but I always came prepared to ace the test.

I have a feeling you did too!

One of the good and bad things about school tests is that you get graded. You know if you did well or not, according to someone else’s standards and opinions.

Business often feels like a series of tests. Except the big difference is that there is no right or wrong answer, and no one is out there telling you if you did it right or not.

The only real indicator of success tends to be your bank account balance…

Business is like a test, but there are no right or wrong answers…

You only have yourself and your results to go by. Sometimes it’s easy to know if you’re on the right track because the clients are knocking on your door, the money is flowing in, and you’re seeing tangible results from your business building efforts.

But other times, it’s like writing out a long essay that you thought was brilliant and you just don’t know why the teacher didn’t give you an A…

You’re doing all the right things, you’re blogging, list building, launching… You’re getting on the phone with potential clients, building the beautifully branded website, and networking your buns off

But the results aren’t there yet.

And that’s when it happens. The universe decides to test you. Except this isn’t like school anymore, this is real life.

Right when you’re about to pull your hair out because you didn’t have the turnout you expected during your webinar… an old colleague will offer you a full-time job.

Or you’ll get a client for work you decided you no longer want to do. Better yet, someone you love and admire will ask you to leave your business behind and join theirs as an employee.

All of the above has happened to me in my entrepreneurial career while I was being tested by the Universe.

One of the biggest tests I faced was before I “made it big”. I was a year or two into my first business, and things were good but I wasn’t making the kind of money I knew I could be… I was also pretty stressed out running my business.

I just didn’t have that much experience running a business, so there was a lot of stuff to constantly be worrying about.

Out of the blue, I was approached by a semi-famous online business personality to come join his company full time (I’m not going to name names here, but let’s just say he’s doing quite well for himself right now).

I was flattered that he wanted me to join his company, and pleased that he could see my potential. But I also knew that if I left my business, I’d be leaving behind all the hard work I had put into it…

It took some soul searching, because I recognized that this was a “golden opportunity” but I also knew deep in my heart that it wasn’t the right path for me.

How To Ace The Universe’s Test

It’s weird, because it always seems that right when you’re feeling down about your business is when these “easy solutions” show up to see if you’re really committed to the direction you’re headed in.

A great analogy is when you decide to eliminate gluten from your diet or just eat healthier, and then the next thing you know your friend wants to take you to the best pasta joint around.

This makes you question your decisions, and it can really slow down any progress you were already making.

I really believe that most people are just a few “business slumps” away from making it big. Perseverance is really key though, and if you stop putting yourself out there and retreat back inside then you’ll lose the momentum you’ve built up.

We all go through ups and downs in business, and if you let a down week take you out of the game then you’re missing out on all the foundational work you’ve been setting up for months or years.

So when you get this miraculous opportunity that’s actually taking you away from where you want to go, you need to feel into it and re-commit to your direction.

There is no right or wrong answer. It’s a test, but there’s no teacher grading you at the end of your life… so you need to be the one who makes the final call and you are the one who will live with the decisions you make. So getting good at making decisions from your you-ness is really important.

We can all make decisions based on what we think others want for us: our parents, peers, and society at large.

Being Tested By The Universe

Keep Going Even When You’re Being Tested By The Universe

You’ll be tested on a regular basis: daily even. When there’s a cool new business model you want to explore, when a well known person asks you to collaborate on a project that doesn’t mesh with where you’re going, and when you get sidetracked on your path.

One of my first business resolve tests was right out of college. I was graduating with a good degree in an in-demand field, and I got offered a job on Wall Street. Sweet, right?

Except I had always talked about starting my own business. I even shared my business vision with Robin on our first date in college, but when faced with actually turning down a solid job offer in exchange for an unsure thing… it took some guts.

So how can you know if you’re really on the right path and or if this new opportunity is the thing you should pursue?

I think it takes a lot of self knowledge and introspection.

It also takes sticking to your gut, even when the outside world makes things look easier and shinier “out there”.

Have You Been Tested?

I’d love to know if you’ve run up against any tests from the world at large… leave a comment below and let me know how you dealt with it!

How To Generate Great Ideas And Make Sure They Happen

Generate great ideas
Let’s tackle both sides of the business coin: how to generate great ideas, and how to make sure they happen. Without one or the other, your business is sunk.

And both imagination and knowledge are inadequate if there is no action to follow through with it.

How To Generate Ideas

First, let’s look at how to generate great ideas. The types of ideas that can help you stand out from the crowd, add a new revenue stream to your business, or take you into a new market successfully.

The first step is to plant the seed. Take a step back from your day to day activities and think about the problem you want to solve or the thing you want to achieve.

Define the problem, and ask a good question.

Then, let your subconscious do the work and go for a walk, exercise, take a shower or a nap.

Allow the solution and the ideas to bubble up to the surface. Then write them down!

The missing link for most of us is the step between the idea and the action. For me in my business what has worked really well is to capture these ideas, and even if I don’t plan to use it right away I don’t need to worry about losing it.

You can use pen and paper, Evernote, or an internal company wiki. Whatever works for you.

Idea Execution and Implementation

Now it’s time to combat the age old “great idea, poor execution” problem.

If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den (my guilty pleasure when I go back to visit family in Canada!), then you know that the basis of the show is that a bunch of entrepreneurs present their businesses and ideas to ask for venture capital.

What I want you to pay special attention to the next time you watch is how the Sharks evaluate businesses: not on ideas but on who is going to be executing and implementing the idea.

They know that anyone can come up with a great idea, but that not everyone is suited to take that idea to market and make it a reality.

One thing that stops people from taking action on a great idea is that they don’t have the means to make it real so that it’s up to their standards. For example, you might not know how to make a super fancy website, but you can learn to build a simple one.

From there, you’ve got momentum and you can re-invest and bring things up to your vision’s standards.

As Seth Godin would say, you need to ship. Get your idea to market so you can make money, and then you can always come back and improve things over time.

Our vision is always going to be bigger than what we can realistically implement today with our current capabilities.

But without taking the very first step, there is no way we can improve. Breaking down a big idea into bite sized steps is the best way to actually implementing what you know is possible.

Then, putting it on your calendar with actual due dates and a timeline that you can’t chicken out on is key. Think about what obstacles might come up to stop you, and how you can clear a path for this idea to really happen.

You can also go one step further and throw your hat over the fence: tell other people and get public accountability for what you say you’re going to do.

Then make sure you follow my advice from this “Get Things Done” video, and apply energy management techniques like “batching is bitching” and now I’ll leave you with my favorite Nathalie-ism:

Now I’d love to hear from you!

What helps you come up with great ideas? And how do you follow through on them once you get them? Leave a comment below, I’m all ears!

How to Register a Domain Name for Free

If you want a professional website on the web, then you’ll need a domain name like “ambitionally.com” and there are ways to get it for free, when you sign up for a hosting plan.

How to register a domain name for free

When you set out to build a website for yourself, you’ll be faced with a ton of different website hosting options. When you’re just starting out, I recommend Bluehost because they offer a free domain name registration when you sign up for their hosting plans.

I’ll walk you through how to register a domain name for free…

How to register a domain name for free

Get started on the homepage and you’ll come to the page below where you type in the name of the domain you’d like to register. (If you have an existing domain, you can transfer it here.)

This is the first step, because we want to see if the domain you want to register is already taken or not.

domain

If it’s available, then you’ll be taken to the next page – otherwise Bluehost may recommend other domains for you to try instead. When it comes to domains, I recommend sticking to some of the more well known extensions like “.com” so that people can easily remember how to find you on the web.

Next, you’ll fill in your account information.
accountinfo

Up next – it’s time to enter your billing information for the hosting plan that you chose. Make sure you read the license agreement and check the box that you have read it. Click Next.

billing

Select how often you’d like to be billed from the Account Plan drop-down menu. Check all the available features to add what you need to your package. I recommend including the backup option. The Domain Whois Privacy is to hide your name/account information when someone searches for who owns your domain. This can come in handy if you don’t want your address to be known publicly.

packageinformation

Now that your domain is yours – it’s time to set up WordPress!

Then log into your administration panel – your cPanel. We want to install a WordPress site so go ahead and click on WordPress.

wordpresselect

 

Click Start (for a brand new version – new site).

wordpressstart

Select where you would like to install WordPress – select your site name.

Unselect Plugins and themes automatically checked as you don’t need these right now.

Click Complete.

It doesn’t take very long to install, in 2-3 minutes it will finish installing everything.

Once your site is ready, copy and paste the information for Site URL, Login URL, Username and Password into a safe place where you can keep track of all your logins.

Congratulations, you just scooped yourself a free domain registration through Bluehost and you’re all set with your new WordPress enabled hosting, too! Head over to our in-depth WordPress step-by-step tutorial here.

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