Celebrating 2 years full time in her own business as a life coach, Phi shares insights on what she’s had to unlearn in here journey.

Get ready for a thought-provoking discussion on how unlearning has become a crucial mindset and skill in navigating the ever-changing world of business and personal development. 

Resources from today's episode

Episode Introduction

Hi Beautiful Soul, welcome to this week’s Grow Through It Podcast Episode and in exciting news I wanted to share at the beginning of this month November 2023, I crossed over the line of having my own business as a full time life coach for 2 years now. 

I’ve been busy (hello manifesting generator with the channel of charisma and power) as well as hibernating (that’s my 2 profile line) and I’ve finally had an intentional week of slowing down, nourishment, rejuvenation and pause to reflect and take this in! 

It’s been so nice to reflect and I did my best to capture 2 years in an 11 second reel on Instagram but that’ll never do it justice! Watching it made me smile for all the amazing moments. 

Rages & Riches: Scarcity and Abundance

Even though its been a couple of weeks hitting that milestone it still feels so surreal especially thinking of my second year in business and trust me it’s been a rollercoaster. In the second year so much has happened. I’ve had wobbly moments where I was very scarce and tight on money just barely paying for my expenses contrasted with the biggest months in my business in overflow of abundance. 

I was reflecting with some girlfriends last night how at one point earlier this year we went to dinner and I didn’t eat because I was on a tight budget so for a month or two I remember I was eating at home before going out with friends, I didn’t drink and what not to now the contrast of having excitingly bought a new dyson vacuum, previously paying for a retreat in instalments and now paying for it in full with overseas flights and upgraded seats next year and had a big birthday month of spending. For my birthday I had never spent so much in my life for individual things such as the dress I wore was $450, my nails cost $150, blow dry $200, cake $200 and so fourth.

Clients, book and podcast

https://www.amazon.com.au/Great-Unlearning-Awakening-Aligned-Authentic/dp/0645344494In terms of clients I’ve had lean months the first in a long time but also contrasted by seeing the most clients I ever have in my business whether it be in a day, month, year or quarter. I think despite it all whilst a lot has unfolded for me personally over the last 2 years whether it’s quitting my corporate job, relationship changes, moving homes it’s been really grounding to have my business as the most stable core in my life: the essence of what I do and being able to return to my grander purpose which is to make the world a better place and help people live their best lives: at peace, happy and soul fulfilled. Really trusting and returning to that in moments of fear, doubt, worry has been humbling and gratifying. 

On June 23rd this year I released my debut book The Great Unlearning: Awakening to Living an Aligned and Authentic Life which was a year and a half journey in the making and two years from the idea of the book conceived whilst I was side hustling as a coach and full time in my corporate career landing a book deal, writing the book and editing process. The excitement as it hit #1 in Amazon for particular categories in Australia and did well in the top 3 or was it 5 in the US too, trending domestically on Booktopia when it first released too.

This has also been the year of being a guest on other podcasts such as with Georgie Stevenson on Rise & Conquer and I’m really feeling the desire to consistently do more podcasting on my own here on The Grow Through It podcast too. I’ve been so fortunate to travel extensively this year for personal reasons such as going back to my ancestral roots and lineage on my mum’s side in Vietnam and work including recording my talk unlearning and unbecoming through writing with Janelle Hardy for Day 2: Taking the lid off grief and rage the Healing Through Writing Festival from a gorgeous 5 star retreat in Bali, visiting clients and doing in person coaching and business sessions and what’s been really exciting is working with business teams in terms of planning, strategy, energetics and human design of course. 

I was reflecting with some girlfriends last night how at one point earlier this year we went to dinner and I didn’t eat because I was on a tight budget so for a month or two I remember I was eating at home before going out with friends, I didn’t drink and what not to now the contrast of having excitingly bought a new dyson vacuum, previously paying for a retreat in instalments and now paying for it in full with overseas flights and upgraded seats next year and had a big birthday month of spending. For my birthday I had never spent so much in my life for individual things such as the dress I wore was $450, my nails cost $150, blow dry $200, cake $200 and so fourth.

Client results and testimonials

The growths and changes in the clients I work with has been so incredibly rich and rewarding in year 2, my heart feels all warm and fuzzy and I get teary thinking about it. The biggest trends I’ve seen with my clients are working more with entrepreneurs or people wanting to start their own business, younger women starting their personal growth and development journeys at 18-24 (hats off to you, I can only imagine how different my life would’ve been having the tools, mindset and support from a coach in my early 20s vs starting later), beautiful mamas navigating life in all facets and in particular getting to the core of their identity and self outside being a mother, couples (a lot of work coaching couples, reconciliation or transitioning to a conscious uncoupling) and men — at one point this year half my clients were males aged between 28-47. Moreover this year has been deeply intense work in terms of the feminine: sensuality, sexuality, slowing down, embracing cycles whether moon or menstrual and womb healing.

To name a few of the amazing achievements in year 2 so far, clients that I have in e-commerce and manufacturing have doubled their revenue since I’ve started working with them and I’ve also seen clients break through income plateaus and receive pay rises and promotions. Clients have fallen in love (yay) and met a significant other whilst working together. Clients have left jobs and religions that are no longer in alignment with them and sought out more soul fulfilling and gratifying paths. Clients have moved homes and countries and started a new chapter in their life. Clients have broken familial and ancestral patterns and chains holding them back in particular being that support person for the family at their own expense. Clients have moved past and healed from heartbreak and break ups. Clients have reconciled in important relationships whether romantic, friends or family. 

Honestly I could go on, so much has happened and I can’t even do it justice talking about it because when I hear from clients about how they’ve grown and changed so much, talking about how they can’t even put a price on their transformations it’s truly mind blowing and blows the water on what one think can logically happen when you work and invest in yourself.

Phi celebrates 2 years in business

In honour of this 2 year milestone, I thought I would share a few musings of what I’ve had to unlearn in my journey thus far particularly in my second full year of running my own business…

I don’t know why I had so much resistance to recording this episode: I felt bad for missing a week of podcasting last week with personal things arising to the surface and so ultimately I’m preaching done is better than perfect! Knowing why I want to do the podcast, it’s not about me it’s about you the listener.

Freedom in your own business full time

Having your own business means complete freedom and so you’ll be happy all the time – I would say for the most part it really is true!

I have to say one of the best parts is not having to be bound by a certain time to wake up and hear that pesky alarm. It’s true being able to go on holiday whenever you want, being able to work from anywhere you want — that’s a dream! Being able to set your own schedule and shuffle it around for appointments or to help out friends and family is a blessing too. 

Not forgetting freedom in terms of this poignant point that remember why you started your business and personally for me one of the driving factors  was freedom. So I always come back to applying that principle – I get to do business my way and forge my own path. I get to show up in a way that I want to not what the industry standard/expectation is or what some person online says. 

I have found my flow in creating content I really love which is writing turned into a book this year (The Great Unlearning) and at the moment online reels, in turn clients are able to find me to do 1:1 coaching and human design readings despite not actually ever posting content about that. Logically one may say it doesn’t make sense but hey it works for me! 

Again it’s not about this method working for you but the core message is give yourself full permission to do business and run your business in a way that lights you up and really excites you, that feels really good in your soul. I think that’s coming up for me next year, now I’m less in ‘survival’ mode in business and serious, how can I have more fun and pure joy that tingles up my sacral in true manifesting generator magic?

Change is a part of life and business, I remember everyone saying you have to be on TikTok but again my main platform is Instagram and I’m still getting my work out there and having clients without necessarily having to follow trends, pay for advertising and show my face all the time. Although I’ve definitely pivoted and done more reels because I love having the visual and audio aspect accompany my words. I want someone to see a piece of content and really feel the message I am conveying in all senses. 

Gratitude vs guilt in business full time

Intertwined with this all, is a deep genuine to the core, heart and soul feeling of being really grateful that you are able to do what you love everyday. I think that’s why you don’t hear many people talking about the downsides to running your own business at least for me I feel a resistance because it’s like I should be so grateful you know? It’s also that whole everyone wants the success but don’t realise that with it comes other things too: as I always say new level, new devil.

Loneliness in business and entrepreneurship

Such as life, no matter who you are, how much money you have, how much personal development work you do and what you do — it’s not always happy! I have definitely struggled with bouts of loneliness and I’m a natural hermit too. Especially the beginning of this year where everything was perfect on paper yet I live by myself, work by myself and was single. It was exacerbated as I live at the beach known to be it’s own bubble and the majority of my friends live half an hour to an hour’s drive away. I was humbled by a friend who reminded me it was my choice to live at the beach as I could also easily live closer to my friends in the suburbs. It’s true I value the beach lifestyle and environment so much, it’s the glitter for my soul.

There was no where to hide by just throwing myself into work so I really spent the beginning of this year in contemplation and making the most of the time I have alone. It taught me to put more of an effort in to connect with people whether driving to see friends or really savouring a conversation at my local cafe or a kind stranger walking by at the beach because apart from clients at time was my one piece of personal interaction for the day!

Not everyone has the same lifestyle as you so therefore even though I can work anywhere from the world, I’ll likely be by myself unless a friend and partner can take that time off work for example. You can go the beach at 2:30pm on a Wednesday but not many people you know will be able to unless their circumstances are similar. You can work overseas for 2-3 months straight, again doesn’t mean your partner can too.

The things you think about and experience again will be different for example the way you approach money and investments. One of your main interests naturally will be your business and the nature of business: growth and the pains that come with it. You’ll be questioning “do people get me?” 

I’m the first in my friend group to have my own business, so it’s quite an adventure on your own and wondering do other people experience this or feel that way? The answer is yes! The absence of colleagues or a team makes it important to find community in the day to day and have a support network. 

With success I also found it interesting to see who have been the people that have supported me from day 1 vs now especially when I released my book I found it interesting people from my past that suddenly reappeared again acting all friendly when I hadn’t heard from some of them for at least 5 years!

Less proving, more being, living, working an presence

Feeling less of the need to prove myself. I used to feel the need to be online 24/7 showing off being achievements or luxurious purchases/holidays. It could be the fact I have a 2 profile line hermit yet nowadays I like to keep some things private and sacred for myself. I don’t feel as though I need to post all the time my successes and testimonials because I’m grateful to have built my business that the work speaks for itself and the majority of clients I get are from referrals or content I put out online. 

I feel at peace but of course you still have the shaky moments from time to time where you fear oh my gosh what if I don’t have enough money as an example but that happens less now, it’s like my brain can now logically click well it’s been 2 years and I’ve been doing this full time without a need to get a second job or a casual job for sustainable income. 

In saying that achieving things, it can be so easy to tick it off and move onto the next. It’s so important to celebrate yourself and hitting achievements and milestones. This year I really allowed myself to do that financially as well as with taking time off. I really went all in on celebrating with my book launch earlier this June, having a month in Bali and Vietnam and throwing a huge party for my birthday in October. It can be big celebrations but I also had the practice of celebrating solo with Uber Eats and a kombucha on the couch too.

Don't be afraid to spend money

Hence the next unlearning: Don’t be afraid to spend money. I feel that the initial first few years of business even now still the majority of money is being reinvested back into myself and the business in terms of scaling, growing and expanding. It’s true what they say spending money to earn money of course getting to that sweet spot. My money mindset has rapidly expanded because have you ever noticed that rich people keep spending money? They don’t stop and hoard. That’s what people do with less money and a poverty mindset. The richer get rich because they invest… whether that’s in stocks, property, other businesses, themselves catapulting them to create more money in their existing business by scaling or even starting more businesses. It’s something I’m definitely thinking of doing and looking to in the future whether it’s another service business or an e-commerce one. 

Just because you can doesn't mean you should

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should – It’s realising I can do many things and I am good at many things but where does my joy lie? I’m at a point where I can do less jobs in my business, whereas the first year I was the coach, admin, accountant, marketer etc. Where is my effort and energy bests place within my business? What is the opportunity cost of me doing a instead of doing b? What is the cost of me doing something I dread vs love? How do you put a price on that? Financially? Mentally? Physically? Emotionally? More than ever I really value my time, energy and input. 

Business and boundaries

This year I’ve had to drop out of plans even though I felt bad because I had to honour my body or mind being tired or just not feeling it or being in the mood for it. I’ve had to have firmer boundaries especially with family, friends or strangers seeking guidance, advice or to pick my brain. I truly honour my clients, prioritise and put them first and give them my all when it comes to my life coaching and intuitive abilities. That put an end to receiving voice notes from people that went from anywhere between 2 to 10 minutes, I simply didn’t have the energy for that after working with clients all day.

Working with your energy vs against it

With that I’ve really had to honour my natural working flow and style instead of working against it: it’s taken the majority of the year to come to my conclusion that I have a maximum amount of clients I can see a day with at least 15-30 minutes in between, I do not work weekends and the majority of my work is done during the day, not too early because I love a sleep in now and it takes time for my brain to wake up and not at night where I feel tired and taking into account insights previously where I  was guilty of that one when I was single I would work days and nights but now I have a partner I prioritise our relationship). I was definitely guilty before of putting work before my relationships and perhaps even having a sense of getting complacent or taking it for granted prioritising work you know? 

Investing in yourself

2 years in business I can afford to invest more in myself and business and that has resulted in me going on a retreat at the beginning of this year, having just paid for one in India next year as well as being able to have my virtual assistant work more hours to support me in the things that I don’t enjoy such as admin work: reposting my content to my website, sorting out my inbox, scheduling in my calendar. This is an area I continue to identify as something for me to work on as I can really be in the feminine flow and I really crave and need to plan, organise and structure my business. I used to think it slowed me down but I needed to slow down in order to speed up. All of this makes for the second year in more refined, I feel more on top of business and it’s manageable whereas the first year for me was experimenting, trial and error: figuring it out. 

Consistent mentorship and beginner mindsdet

Having regular consistent mentorship is a game-changer too, I really honed in on having a mentor for the year consistently which is dedicated time for me to reflect, express myself and access new perspectives or guidance. Once your business is established I find it’s more personal things that I discuss and work on as opposed to necessarily business problems. It’s always refreshing to see things from a different perspective. 

You don’t know everything and that’s a beautiful thing. I never want to get to a point where I think I know it all. In fact I would prefer to be the beginner in a room and take the most out of speaking with people than being the expert, that’s how I grow the most. Your interactions with people help you to grow, especially in the field I work in, a lot of the times the things i’m coaching a client are resolidfying insights and experiences I have so really adopting all connections and relationships as a valuable mirror and opportunity to grow. 

Exponential growth vs sustainable growth

In saying that I think people have this idea your business has to always grow year on year a crazy exponential amount and I’ve come to realise that’s not sustainable or enjoyable (for me at least anyway). My business has undoubtedly grown in it’s second year but part of it is the ebbs and flow. I launched a book and a part of me felt the pressure to do even more however when I tuned in with my soul it said the book is huge, this is enough. You don’t have to do the group coaching program or retreats until next year (hence watch this space!). Just like personal development we need integration time, stabilisation time, like the new norm for me is like it’s okay, I have a consistent stream of clients, I won’t die and run on out of money. I don’t need to show up online all the time to make money. In fact this year I’ve shown up the least and I’m okay! Which comes to another insight yes consistent revenue is important to sustain your business and self especially soothing your nervous system.

The importance of health and rest

This was the year I truly understood how much I need to pause, rest, integrate and recharge. Business is a marathon not a sprint. Essentially you are the driving engine and compass of your business. You need to be on top of your energy to have the desire, drive and motivation to keep your business going. This is an area I want to focus on particularly next year consistency in my health: fitness, diet and meditation. Knowing myself when it gets busy I prioritise work and in turn work out less, eat bigger portions for comfort and energy or do the opposite I forget to eat and all I’ve had is a coffee until dinner, meditate less… or I’m so tired I lack the energy and feel lazy: I’m not swimming as much or walking as much — always areas to improve and work on! 

Purpose and the long haul

No matter what happens it’ll always come back to this: keep going! The journey is never going to be perfect and you won’t be ‘put together’ all the time. In life naturally challenges and obstacles arise and what I’ve found is that the anxieties and fears in my head, are always worse and scarier than what actually unfolds in reality. 

I still remember my first day in business and now two years later, the life that I live today is far greater than I envisioned for myself. If you told me where I would be today when I started I would’ve been like what you’re crazy, how!? 

And that’s thing for me really knowing my own human design, responding to the world, following those intuitive nudges and breadcrumbs to take inspired action step by step has led me here. Knowing I am here because of the me that made decisions despite fear, worry, doubt and insecurity a month ago, six months ago, a year ago, two years ago… 

If you’re listening with an idea or passion of something to do, this is your sign to go for it, see what happens – it might not work out but what if it did… that is something powerful enough to pursue in itself! Thanks for listening beautiful soul, until next week but in the meantime if you’d like to work with me I offer 1:1 coaching and human design readings. Details on my website phidang.com or message me on Instagram @thephidang. 

Phi Dang