Episode #282: The 18-Month Rule
TAYLOR BRADFORD: You are listening to episode number 282 of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. Today I’m talking about the 18-month rule. On to the episode.
Today’s episode is brought to you by my Inner Circle membership, which is getting good, you guys, so if you’re not in there definitely, you want to be checking it out. Pop over to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle to learn all about the various levels of membership. You can get in for as little as $10 a month, and that gets you access into the Inner Circle. And brand new for November 2020, we are starting a business book club in the Inner Circle, and I’m really excited. The very first book we’re going to be reading and discussing is Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley. You definitely don’t want to miss it. Some perks of the Inner Circle membership: I do a monthly live Q&A, and you’re able to submit your topics of conversation or questions that you want me to answer live. And I record it and then provide the replay for those that didn’t get a chance to attend the live session. Now we have a business book club where we’re going to be reading business books to help us all further our businesses and our minds, and it’s going to be amazing. And you can get in for as little as $10 a month. Pop over to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle to join today.
Hey, welcome to this episode of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. I’m your host, Taylor Bradford. Thank you so much for tuning in today. Oh, my goodness, we are, we’re in November, and we have two months left of 2020. And I gotta be honest, 2020 keeps rolling with punches. And it is – it’s, it’s been really challenging. This past weekend, one of the pipes broke on our tenant’s side of our property and flooded, and the water flooded over into our side. And so we’ve been dealing with that mess, and then with the cleanup, my husband was helping our tenant to get some windows open to help with airflow because it’s already starting to mildew. And long story short, the window came crashing down, and his hand was still in the sill of the window casing and nearly severed his thumb. So, yes, and because we’re in COVID time still, I wasn’t able to go with him. And it’s y’all it’s just it’s been a trying time. Like there’s just a lot going on in my world that is really trying, and I’ve been seeking, you know, to the things that I’m really grateful for. But when your tribulations seemed to be insurmountable or greater than the things that you might be grateful for, it makes life hard. And so it’s I know it’s the season, and oh my gosh, I hope 2021 is a lot better. Because of the punches, just keep on rolling. And I even started to think to myself, What am I supposed to be learning in this, like, I don’t know how much stronger I’m supposed to be made. Or what this is gearing me up for because all of this has not been fun. And yeah, so that’s, that’s where I’m at. And I’m going to be talking about the 18-month rule today, which is kind of something that I have learned through another group that I’m in that I pay to be in for the wedding industry. And it’s fascinating, this 18-month rule we’re going to talk about it.
Before I do that, I want to give a shout out to my Inner Circle members who have been in it for the long haul since Inner Circle started, and this month is the first month that we do our book club. We are reading Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley, and I’m really excited to talk about it. And I need to actually get the book finished, but I’ve been going chapter by chapter and taking a lot of notes so that we can have a really good discussion about the book and how we can implement and make some changes. Which is what the 18-month rule actually is all about. And it’s definitely more conceptual because you do have to wait these 18 months, and I can see where this really works in the wedding industry just by the nature of our events. But I can also see how it parlays over into online business and to running business.
So I want to start out with a quote that really will help hammer what the 18-month rule actually is. “The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.” I have no idea who said that, but it is so true, and it will help you to understand what this 18-month rule is. And honestly, this can be an arbitrary number. This could be a six-month rule, depending on what business you’re in. Again, 18 months is kind of a generalized number for the event industry because of the nature of our events. So, for example, a client reaches out to me, like, right now I’m, I’m speaking back and forth to a client is getting married next October. So we’re in November, she’s getting married next October. So we’re 11 months out right now, just from her event. So she’s booking me for rentals for 11 months away. And let’s say I add a new inventory that she’s adding to her wish list. And this is what she’s gonna hire me to bring out for her wedding in 11 months. So 11 months goes by, we’re in October of next year, I arrive at our wedding with my items, and get it all set up, and yada, yada, yada have the wedding Yay, congrats. Well, then it might be another six to eight weeks before I ever see a wedding gallery that shows off the pieces that were brand new back in November of 2020. So we’re in October of 20 – hopefully, you’re still following – her wedding is October 2021. I don’t get the gallery until maybe January of 2022. And so January 2022 is when I can finally start marketing those new pieces in a wedding capacity. So I hope that makes sense. Like that can be a really long time to wait to up-level yourself by it. That’s just kind of the nature of how business works. The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.
So in business, if you are trying to create a business, run a business, grow a business, you have to understand that business is a long game. It’s not a short game. And you’ve got to embrace the fact that the work you do now may not play off or pay off until 18 months from now. So this initial 18 months came about from this one particular wedding planner by watching trends and seeing the trends of when she would make a change in her business and then when it would actually come to fruition. And we have to let things take effect. When we make a change for the good to move our business forward, we have to have patience to actually let those changes take effect. Because I know a lot of us, especially me, and especially with like S.O.C.I.A.L. Subscription, I want it to happen now. I want everybody to love it right now. I want everybody to sign up for it right now. But I know that’s not realistic, even though I need that instant gratification of this is an amazing idea. This is an amazing concept. This is an amazing business. I need that instant gratification, but I can’t have it because that’s not how business works. You have to be in this for the long haul, and you have to let things take effect. And I can see the seeds are planting, but the fruits not ready to eat yet.
So this 18-month rule is all about making your brand long-lasting. If you’re not considering being in business for ten years or longer, this may not be for you. If this is a short-term thing, then you’re going to have to acknowledge that it’s a short-term thing. But if you can see yourself doing this in 10 years, then you’re setting yourself up for that long haul. So I want to ask you to ask yourself, how much longer do you think you’ll be doing this thing that you are doing right now? This business or this brand or this blog that you’re doing right now, how much longer do you think you’ll be doing it in its current iteration? If you think you’ll be doing this for at least another ten years, let me tell you, there’s so much more that you can do. But I need you to play your own game. I need this to be something that you do for yourself and for your brand and your business and for nobody else.
So how do you balance this waiting game? Because let me tell you, just by knowing that I have to wait 18 months for something to take hold – to become into fruition – that’s a struggle for me, especially with that instant gratification I mentioned. But you got to just forget about it. You got to make the change. You got to keep doing the change until it’s second-nature to yourself, and then before you realize it, it has been 18 months. And the changes that you make, or even the day to day that you do, you’ve got to always ask yourself, does this get you one step closer to where you want to be? Obviously, you’re going to have to figure out where you want to be. That’s part of my 8+1 Pillars. So, where do you want to be?
So I’m going to challenge you. When you post about something when you blog about something, when you talk about something when you share an image about something, are those things getting you one step closer to where you want to be? If it’s not, don’t share it or if there’s a possibility to tweak it so that it does get you one step closer, then make the tweak. So first, where are you trying to go? Where are you trying to be? And then second, ask yourself the question before I post this thing on Instagram, is this taking me one step closer to where I want to be? If it doesn’t, how do I tweak it? And then if it really doesn’t, then I don’t post it.
We make time for the things that are important. We prioritize the things that are important to us and make time for them. Your business, especially if you’re in this for the long haul, has to be a priority for you. And these things have to become a priority for you, these questions that you ask yourself so that you can get yourself one step closer to where you want to be because you’re in this for the long haul. But there’s a flip side to this. Because this is a long term game, it doesn’t mean that you’re saying no to work that may not always completely align with that long term. Because we do still have to pay our bills, but what it means is that when you say yes to work, it doesn’t mean you’re saying yes to being able to use it, to market it to get you to that one step closer or to get you to where you want to be, you just don’t show that work, you still give it all that you have, you still create the same experience, you still do what you are hired to do, but it’s just paying the bills unless it doesn’t align. Now that’s a completely different story. And we can talk about that. But we still need to take things that still feel good, even though they may not fully get us to where we want to go, but they’re still going to pay the bills. The value of your relationships should never falter. The value of your work should never falter. You still should be providing the same level of service whether or not the end result of working with that one particular client is going to move you further to getting to where you want to be. Because there are going to be times when you know it’s a yes, you’re going to say yes, because it still aligns but may not necessarily be the content that you need to get yourself next-level. But you being hired still doesn’t change the fact that you’re going to create the same level of service or not create the same level of service. You’re still doing the job. It just may not fully align to where you want to go. Because maybe 18 months prior, it’s where you thought you were going, and you said yes, back then. Like, your relationships shouldn’t falter, they shouldn’t take a bit backseat because it doesn’t have anything to do with anything other than you do have goals for yourself, you do know where you now want to go. It may take another 18 months to get there, but you still need to pay your bills.
So how do you do that? How do you say yes to things that maybe aren’t quite a fit, to get into where you go what you still need to do them because you have bills to pay because let’s be real, that’s kind of where a lot of us are. We have to be emotionally detached from those kinds of decisions. And if they truly don’t align with whatever – drawing whatever lines you’ve drawn in the sand, whatever you’ve said to the universe, whatever you’ve written on your mirror in your bathroom, whatever your goal is – you need to emotionally detach yourself so that you can figure out when opportunities come your way if you should say yes or you should say no. At the end of the day, it does just come down to it being business, and you saying yes to something, or you say no to something. And it’s okay to say yes to the things that still stay in alignment to the overall goal, but it may not completely speak to that next level. It’s still okay to say yes to that, but if it doesn’t, and it’s going to send you backwards, or it’s going to keep you stagnant and not allow you to move forward, then you’ve got to say no. Don’t do things that keep you stagnant or move you backwards. You’ve got to have patience, and you got to say no to the things that aren’t going to allow you to take that one step closer to where you want to be. And honestly, sometimes we are our own worst enemy when it comes to this. Our brains need social proof. But we only need one time, one example, one client, to prove to ourselves that it’s possible because the way the brain rewires itself to now believe that thing is true. So initially, we like are skeptical, our brains don’t think we can do it, and then we find the social proof. That one person that says, “Yes, I’ll pay that,” “yes, I want that service.” And then your brains like, “Well, now, it’s always true.” It’s amazing how the brain works.
So this 18-month rule. I want you to think about where you want to be, where you’re going, can you see yourself doing this in 10 years, and I want you to work on some changes that are going to move you forward and implement those changes, make them become habits, do them until you don’t even think about doing them. And then when you realize it, it’s been 18 months, and that’s when you begin attracting that new client. And again, 18 months, that’s really more for the event industry. Like I said earlier, it can be six months, it can be ten months, but I do think there is a waiting game for changes we make now before we get to the fruition of them before we start attracting the client to where we’re going. I do think that there is that waiting game, and we have to stay patient and say no to the things that don’t fit because that’s important. So, plant the seed now and eat the fruit later because that’s how things grow.
Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of the Boss Girl Creative podcast. I hope you’ll share it with your business bestie. And again, shout out to this week’s show sponsor, which is the Inner Circle membership, and I hope that is something you will consider because that is where my time is being spent is lifting up the ladies in the Inner Circle membership. And again, we have a book club that starts this month – actually, we’ve been reading, but we have our first book club meeting the second Tuesday of the month – and so there’s still time for you to get yourself into the Inner Circle and partake in the first-ever Inner Circle membership book club. So pop over to bossgirlcreative.com/InnerCircle to get yourself into the membership today. Until next time, I hope you have a great rest of your week.