I started Llumos in my new-to-me home office in Florida with my new spouse and new life.   After ten years of great work in consulting psychology firms I loved, I was venturing out on my own.  “Whee!  Whoa!  What??”  I was terrified, excited, and energized.  Eleven years later, I’m still here – serving great clients and learning a ton along the way.  From the thousands of lessons learned, here are 5.5 that have helped me as an entrepreneur, consultant, and executive coach and advisor:

1) Focus on the long game.  The #enduranceleadership model I’ve built rings true daily: Anchor your mindset through your ultimate mission and long-term goals, excel in execution against those goals, cultivate discipline in mind and body and learn from your mistakes, and leverage support to make you better and keep you grateful.  

2) Plan for the future – even when you cannot predict it. I’ve moved six times in those 11 years, including two international moves and two during the COVID pandemic. Continue to look for opportunities in the midst of uncertainty. Where there aren’t any…make them.  Lean into what you know is true – your talents, your values, your community – and the rest will (eventually) emerge.  

3) If you want to go far, go with others. While I’m a solopreneur, my business thrives due to the wisdom of great mentors, colleagues, and professional organizations that have helped me learn the ropes, stay the course, and push myself to new successes.

4) Keep your balance.   Working for yourself means more flexibility, but it also means you can easily lose your boundaries.  There is no “use it or lose it” vacation policy, no paid time off.  To manage stress and avoid burnout, schedule regular time for you. Daily exercise, good sleep, and regular vacations will all keep you energized for your clients and ensure you don’t eventually come to resent your boss (BTW, that’s you).   

5) Enjoy the heck out of the journey.   Managers of teams take time to celebrate wins.  They help their team learn from mistakes.  They encourage their people to develop and grow their skill sets.  Do you do these for the person you manage (you)?  As a solopreneur, I can focus on action and forget about reflection.  Take time to appreciate and grow from each phase of your organizational success.  You won’t regret the time you took to do so. 

5.5) Make everything 50% shorter. Hence why we have 5.5 lessons instead of 11 in 11 years. Less is more.  I’m not good at this, but I’m working on it.

I’m humbled and honored that Llumos has made it 11 years.  Here’s to another 11, or 22, or 33…