Transcript: My Birthday Episode: Hard-Earned Lessons I’ve Learned This Year

December 14, 2021

AMY PORTERFIELD: “Looking to the past does not serve me. And instead, I need to just keep moving forward and be present, as present as possible. Mary Engelbreit has this great saying. She says, ‘Don't look back. You're not going that way.’ And I love that. Don't look back. You're not going that way.” 

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Well, hey, there. Amy, here. Before we dive into the show today, we have some exciting news. As of this month, Online Marketing Made Easy is officially part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. Something we love about the HubSpot Podcast Network is all of the inspiring shows that are dedicated to helping professionals learn and grow, especially online entrepreneurs. If you love our show and want to check out other shows like us, we definitely recommend checking out the Goal Digger Podcast and My First Million. Check out all of these shows and more at  

Well, hey, there, friend. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy. I wanted to check in and, first, just see how you’re doing. Are you ready for the holidays? Are you ready for a little break? Are you going to spend some time with your family? Maybe take some time to recharge? For me, I'm really looking forward to taking time to relax. What we do at Team Porterfield is right before Christmas Eve, we take off the rest of the year, so we take off basically that last week of December. And I love doing this because, let's be honest, that last week of December, no one knows what day it is. No one's taking a shower or getting out of their Christmas jammies. I mean, we're all confused, and many of us are drinking too much and eating too much and just really indulging. And so it's not the most productive week anyway, so I thought, “Well, let's just go ahead and take that week off.” So I'm looking forward to that time with my family.  

But I wanted to make this episode because I just had a birthday, two days ago, in fact. My birthday is 12/12, December 12th. I turned forty-five years old, and I want to talk about some lessons I've learned this year. But before I get there, I have a quick question for you. Have you shared this podcast with a friend? If not, could you do me a favor and just send the link to this episode to maybe one or two friends who need a little support on their entrepreneurial journey? Especially with my Tuesday Shorty episodes that I've just started doing, they're more of, like, a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be an entrepreneur and some of the challenges I go through and the struggles I face and the lessons I've learned, like today’s episode. And I think it really gives a good picture of some of the things that we all face as entrepreneurs. So anyway, I would love for you to share it with a few friends. My mission is to use my podcast to help as many entrepreneurs as possible build a business that they absolutely love. So, if you know someone who might find it valuable, please do share. 

Okay. So, like I said, I just celebrated a birthday, another year around the sun. Now, I am not into birthday parties, definitely don’t like surprise parties, and I don’t like to make a big deal about my birthday, especially as I’ve been getting older. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm not going to dwell on the number, but, geez, when you've been doing videos online for thirteen years and you see videos you did thirteen years ago and you see videos of you're doing today, you're like, “Oh, my gosh. I see myself aging very publicly on video right before my eyes.” But I'm not going to dwell on that. I just want to love myself and accept myself. So that's not what this episode is about.  

However, we did spend some time. I spent some time with Hobie and my family and my friends, and we had a great time. Hobie bought me paddle boards for the lake. So, we have a lake house, and it's getting renovated right now, but in June it will be ready. And I told Hobie, “I really want to get on some paddle boards.” And so I've used my friends’, but I've never had my own. So that's what he bought me for my birthday. I know, a weird gift in December, but come June it's going to be exciting.  

Okay. So, I wanted to dedicate this episode to being one year wiser and some of the lessons that I've learned throughout this year. And there's, really, just two I wanted to touch on, and I really hope that these two lessons, they land where they need to land with you listening now. Like, I hope they touch you in a way that you're like, “Ooh, I get that. I needed that message,” or “This is helpful.” And so I thought these two lessons might translate to so many of my listeners as well.  

So the first thing is that while this year was a challenge for me—I've talked about it on my podcast, where I haven't dealt with anxiety and depression ever in my life like I’ve dealt with it this year. I've had it in the past, but it's been years, and dang, it's been, like, all year this year. And it's the kind of anxiety, you wake up, and your heart is beating out of your chest, and you haven't even had a thought yet. And then this low-level depression that’s like this dark cloud just follows me around, no matter how good my life is. So I talked about this on a podcast. If you want to hear kind of what that looks like, I'll put it in the show notes, if you want to hear kind of what that challenge has looked like this year, I mean.  

But what I wanted to talk about today is even though I've had some struggles, I don't want to waste those struggles. And so I really started to look at them and say, “What are the profound lessons that I've learned from this year?” And one of the things I've noticed is no matter how far you've come, I think we all get to a season where it feels like we've taken a step back and maybe even reverted to old habits or noticed old mindset gremlins that don't serve us, and these mindset gremlins just start creeping in.  

And one of the biggest lessons I've learned this year is that I've got to give myself some grace and remind myself that it doesn't serve me to live in the past. And here’s what I mean. So it doesn't serve me to say, “Oh, I remember when I had my emotional eating under control. I remember when I was definitely many pounds lighter just a year ago. I remember when I did that webinar and I converted at x percent, and this year I didn't do as well,” those kind of things that come up. And for me, it definitely was around my mindset. I remembered when my mindset was stronger, and I remember when I wasn't indulging in the habit of emotionally eating—two things I’ve really dealt with this year. And I kept looking back. I would look at old pictures of when I was thinner. I would think about when it felt easier for me to launch or easier for me to come up with strategies and things just kind of clicked better. And I would look back at past years, and I would dwell on that, and I noticed that came up a lot this year.  

And the lesson, the lesson for me is that looking to the past does not serve me. And instead, I need to just keep moving forward and be present, as present as possible. Mary Engelbreit has this great saying. She says, “Don't look back. You're not going that way.” And I love that. Don't look back. You're not going that way.  

So, yeah, I’ve had easier years, just both in my mental health; really, in my business, things have clicked easier and come together faster and all that. I've had easier years in my business. But that doesn't mean that I'm going backwards or that I'm not as successful or I'm not as smart or strategic. It's just life. This happens sometimes. And it's easy to look back at how things used to be and think that they should be that way right now, but who says? Who says they should be that way right now? And in addition to that, I have a good friend that reminds me that not every day is supposed to be roses. Not every season in your life is supposed to be good and easy.  

So, that leads me to my second lesson. So my first lesson is don't dwell in the past. Don't keep looking back. Be really present for what's happening now because there's lessons and growth in the here and now. And for some reason, these challenges I've had this year, they're here for a reason. God doesn't make mistakes. These are here for a reason. And so I'm going to nurture them and address them and be present with them and learn from them so that I can continue to move forward. So I'm working through my emotional eating again. I'm working with a therapist again. I'm giving myself time to be more creative and more strategic because I need a little bit more time. I need a little bit more space that I have in the past. That's okay. But I'm very clear about what I need and what I want, and I'm making that happen, no matter if it feels a little bit more rockier than normal.  

The other thing that I want to talk about is seasons in life, and that's a big lesson I've learned this year. So remember that without a really cold fall and winter, or without a spring that rejuvenates us, we never get to the summer of life or of business. So we have to lean into the seasons of our life. So, yeah, I had a dark season. That doesn't mean that I haven't had really great moments. Like yesterday, I just had a really good day. I did. I just had a really good day. I connected with Hobie in just a really awesome way. I got all my work done. I had some really great meetings. We got to watch Yellowstone, which is our favorite show right now. It was just a good day. And I'm still in that kind of little dark season. I think I'm coming out of it, for sure, but I still feel it lingering. But that doesn't mean that I can't find the good and I can't be grateful.  

So, dark seasons, cold seasons, they happen. It is life. Seasons of life happen. And I just needed to acknowledge that. Again, giving myself grace. So when I'm in a season that isn't my most desirable season, I'm just going to be present there, knowing that this, too, shall pass. When I was really little and I would struggle with things, my mom would always remind me, “This, too, shall pass.”  

And I really do believe that this year I'm going to come out of it with massive growth. I'm going to come out of it feeling really proud that I got through that. And I'm also going to be reminded that some of the things that didn't work as planned this year actually will turn into huge successes in my future because I feel compelled to change things and work on things and be creative to manifest different things in my life. Like, I feel really compelled to figure out what's going to work for me and what works in my business, because there's some stuff that just hasn't felt right this year. So I'm going to use what doesn't feel good, what doesn't feel right, what feels messy, what feels sad, I'm going to use all that and be present for it and say, “Well, then, Amy, what do you want?” I think that's a really powerful question, something I've learned this year and I've really used it. What do you want?  

So, if you feel sad or unhappy or you're not satisfied with where your business is or what's happening, or if you've had some “failures” this year, what do you want? I don't care if you're listening to this in December, when it airs, or June, six months from now, if there's some things in your life that just feel off, what do you want? What do you want?  

The reason I keep asking that question is that I don't think we ask it enough. And what I really mean by that is I don't think we answer it enough. I want a business that is thriving and feels easy and is exciting. That's what I want. I want students that are getting huge, massive successes in their online businesses. I want a book, that comes out in about a year, to get into the hands of as many people as it needs to get into the hands to help them change their lives and to serve them in big ways. So if I get clear about what I want, the next question I want to ask myself is, “All right, so what do I need to do?” because when you get into action, action creates clarity. And for me, I do have to feel my feelings. I have to be present with this dark season that I've been in. I need to acknowledge it. But then I need to allow myself to say, “Okay. So what do I want, and how am I going to get it?” and then I get into motion. And when I'm in motion, the depression tends to melt away. The anxiety is at bay. When I get into motion, when I get focused, when I get clear about what I want, things just feel better. 

So, I guess what I want to say is don't be afraid to ask yourself every day, what do you want? And answer the question, and then follow it up with, so how are we going to get there? because I believe you have everything you need inside you to have the success that you want. I believe I have everything inside me to get past this dark season and to go into my next year of life with more zest and more excitement and more happiness and more good days. I believe that.  

And yeah, I'm embarrassed to share with you that it's been a dark season for me. And it doesn't mean my business hasn't been profitable. I mean, by all accounts, it's been incredibly profitable. We still had multi-million-dollar launches and all this amazing stuff. I've made absolute great connections. I got a book deal this year. I mean, it doesn't mean that that stuff isn't happening. But anyone who's dealt with depression or anxiety, you know some of that, it does matter. It's still there, right? And so I'm just really looking forward to a fresh start.  

But the last thing I'll say—and then I'll let you go—the last thing I'll say is that I had to lean into this dark season, and it took me a while to do so. I needed to acknowledge it, I needed to be present with it, and I needed to feel it. I needed to be sad. I needed to cry. I needed to confide in my friends and Hobie about what I was feeling.  

And I also—I don't know if I mentioned this in another podcast—but this year I went to a place called Onsite, and it was the Living Centered program. It’s here in Nashville. And it's six days, and I think I mentioned this, but I can't remember. But anyway, it was just one of the things that I did for my mental health, and that really was something that helped me realize I got to feel these feelings. I got to be present with them so that I can move past them. Learn from them and move past them. 

So that's what I've learned this year. I've learned a whole lot more, but I just wanted to share that with you. I really hope that that message lands for someone that really, really needed it. Just remember, a few quick things, number one, we can't live in the past. No matter how good it was in the past or what you've done or where you've been, you're here right now, today. Let's be present here. Number two, seasons of life are real. Some seasons are amazing and produce so much greatness and are exciting and happy, and some seasons are a little bit darker than we want them to be. We just have to acknowledge that and be present with that. Every day can't be great. And then, number three, ask yourself what you want, answer the question, and then start putting together a plan of how you're going to get there, because you don't have to stay in those dark seasons. That, I know for sure.  

All right, friends. I hope you loved this Shorty episode and found it valuable. And thanks for hanging out with me. And if you'd be so kind, just do me a favor. Invite your entrepreneurial friends to come along for the ride. Hopefully, they'll find it valuable as well.  

All right. I can't wait to see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness, same time, same place. Talk to you soon. 

Around this time of year, we start thinking about what matters most, and I ask this for my business as well. What truly matters? I often think about the impact I have on my community and my customers. If you find yourself feeling the same way, you also might find yourself asking how you can help strengthen those relationships between your customers and your community. With a suite of new purpose-built tools, a HubSpot CRM platform can help you build, maintain, and grow your customer relationships like never before. Custom surveys easily captures feedback unique to your business, shares insights with your teams, and helps you grow your understanding of how your customers really feel, meaning healthy conversations about what matters and less about what doesn't. And payment tools, like native payment links and recurring payments that directly embed in HubSpot's tools and emails, means seamless delivery and easy payment collection. Learn more about how a HubSpot CRM platform can help you build, maintain, and grow your customer relationships at 

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