If you are anything like me, I am sure you are forever working on becoming the best you. The crazy thing is, there is not a quick fix or an end all be all answer to the question: How do you create a life you love?
After all, life is ever-changing and the person we are today is a sliver of a resemblance to the person we were twenty years ago. This is one of the beauties of life.
I look back twenty years ago and think how did I survive? I was 24 years old and had a seven-year-old and a one-year-old.
[If the math is making you stop for a moment, let me help you out…Yep, I was a high school drop out and a teen mom.]
So now that I am in my forties, I find myself in a life I love, yet with our children out and about, chasing their dreams, I find myself wanting to reach for more.
In this quest of self-improvement, I came across an inspiring story of a very impressive lady, Ruth Soukup.
So who is this Ruth Soukup and how is she helping people create a life they love?
The list is long! In this Catalyst for Change post, you will learn all about Ruth Soukup, who is:
- An Online Business Entrepreneur
- An Owner and Educator – Elite Blog Academy®
- A New York Times Best Seller
- The Voice of Do It Scared™ Podcast
- Dedicated to helping others find courage, overcome adversity, and create a life they love
Action is the antidote to fear. – Ruth Soukup, Do It Scared™
Who Is Ruth Soukup?
Ruth first caught my attention when Rob and I started our blogging journey. Ruth is a seven-figure business owner who got her start with what she calls a little passion project.
In 2010, as a stay-at-home mom to two young kids, she innocently started her blog – Living Well Spending Less. As she tells the story, she was bored and was filling her days with shopping at Target. Her retail therapy was creating some real problems in her marriage.
Her solution? She built a community-focused blog with the mission of helping other stay-at-home moms. This blog was her accountability tool as she was a natural spender talking about not spending money.
Her message resonated! Nine years later, her readership is more than 1 million women!
An Online Business Entrepreneur
I am wildly excited with all of the ways people make money online.
As a Gen Xer, I find it fascinating that a kid with an iPhone can make millions and become a star by posting their video creations on YouTube. We live in a beautiful world filled with endless, somewhat magical opportunities.
Ruth Soukup tapped into the magic. Shortly after starting her blog, she set a ginormous “stretch goal.” She set the goal to make enough money from her little blog to allow her aerospace engineer husband to become a stay-at-home dad.
She set such a BIG goal that her husband even said “Honey, that is the stupidest thing you have ever said. You can’t make money on a blog.”
In hearing Ruth’s story, I cannot help but think is was those words which fueled her goal through the tough times.
Big goals are the spark that lights the fire inside us! – Ruth Soukup, Do It Scared™
In 2013, two and a half short years of starting her blogging journey, her husband was able to quit his job.
Was it an easy process?
Hell no! She was committed to starting her day at 3:00 am seven days a week so she could build her business and still fill her role as a stay-at-home mom.
She was a woman on fire!
An Owner and Educator – Elite Blog Academy®
I am not a teacher but an awakener. – Robert Frost
In the true spirit of creating a life you love, Ruth took her passion to the people with teaching. After finding success in the blogging world, Ruth self-published her book How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul in 2013.
The book was a big success and led her to launch her course Elite Blog Academy® (EBA) in 2014 – an online course designed to teach aspiring bloggers the Upsidedown Business Model™.
- Refine Your Message
- Grow Your Audience
- Monetize Your Platform
- Build Your Business
The Upsidedown Business Model™ takes the traditional brick and mortar business model and flips it on its head. It is designed so you don’t have to expose you and your family to all of the risk associated with the traditional upfront expenses such as:
- Inventory and supplies
- First and last on the perfect location
- Utility connection fees and deposits
- Legal counsel
- Grand opening advertisement
With the EBA plan, your primary focus is to design and refine your message and then grow from there! When Ruth created the course, she made sure the program would live up to the descriptor “Elite” – and over the years she has built a program that lives up to its name.
When Rob and I were researching the “how to blog” EBA kept coming up as the best of the best. The course has a reputation that supports its starting price of $1,000 and is only open for five days every year in February or March.
The world doesn’t need more of somebody else; the world needs more of you. – Ruth Soukup
A New York Times Best Seller
When I think of the last 27 years of marriage, my biggest regret is that we did not take more risk. We were excellent at playing it safe!
For me, I grew up in a home of uncertainty. A home which suffered from substance abuse, violent temper tantrums, and bouts of unemployment. For me, a hunger for stability was always present.
Now we have two healthy, ferociously successful adult children, I can see how our playing it safe stemmed from the mindset of surviving. So going forward, my goal is to become stronger and braver than ever. To do this, I need help.
My focus is to consume information daily that lifts my soul and assists me in becoming my best version of me.
Ruth Soukup’s book Do It Scared™ is part of my journey. With a troubled background and a life of missteps, Ruth knows about fear and attributes her inspiring success to being able to face fear.
According to the preface, the book’s intent is “Finding the courage to face your fears, overcome adversity, and create the life you love!”
Do It Scared® is designed to be a quick, fun read, but you’ll definitely want to digest it slowly, and maybe even read some chapters more than once.
After reading the hardback and listening to the Audible, I can say the book delivers.
Highlighted passages, aha moments, and quotes to inspire, this book delivers.
It is broken down into three parts:
- The Fear Archetypes
- The Principles Of Courage
- Courage In Action
The simplicity of these three parts keeps me coming back for more. It is full of relatable stories, insightful nuggets of knowledge, and action items for improvement.
So if you are looking for a bit of guidance on your journey of self-discovery, you may want to check out this one!
What are The Fear Archetypes™?
In preparation of writing Do It Scared™, Ruth worked with a team of experts and over 4k survey participants to better understand the human response to fear. The results of this study clearly defined seven different markings that distinguish how people respond to fear.
She quickly labeled these traits and coined them The Fear Archetypes™.
- The Procrastinator: Also known as a perfectionist. The person who needs everything to be perfect and struggles with the fear of messing up.
- The Rule Follower: This trait tends to get hung up on doing things right, and the idea of doing something wrong can hold them back from doing anything at all.
- The People Pleaser: The idea of letting someone down or being an outsider can hold this archetype back, and they can often become the “yes” person.
- The Outcast: This is the one with the trust issues. [Yep, that’s me] The one who appears to be fearless as they reject others before others reject them.
- The Self-Doubter: Feeling insecure and unqualified can hold back this personality along with those around them. The self-doubter will can often come across as critical of others.
- The Excuse Maker: Can also be seen as the Blame Shifter. Taking risks or putting themselves out there does not come naturally.
- The Pessimist: The glass is half empty is the protective shield from pain and suffering. The fear of adversity or struggle often holds these individuals back.
At first glance, The Fear Archetypes™ sound cynical due to the negative connotation. But when you step back for a moment and think about each label, then associate the label with fear, you can truly have the aha moment you seek.
Each archetype is broken down in the following format:
- Positive Attributes
- Habits and Behaviors
- The Voice Of
- How Can This Fear Hold You Back
- Strategies To Overcome This Fear
- Take Action
- Create Accountability
- Moving Past The Fear
The Principles of Courage
It is daring to set goals so big they scare us. Goals that make our chest tighten or our stomach flutter. Those are goals that will motivate us. – Ruth Soukup, Do It Scared™
We are all afraid! Fear is a part of who we are, and without fear, we would not have the push we need to grow. Once we identify our preferred response to fear, we then have an area to work on improving.
Following her divorce, Ruth at the age of twenty-two, suffered an all-consuming depression which nearly took her life when a suicide attempt landed her in a coma. She only had a ten percent chance of survival. This debilitating depression landed her in and out of psychiatric hospitals for two years.
The illness prevented her from managing her finances, which led her to file bankruptcy. Times were hard!
When looking at Ruth’s mountain of success from the outside, it is hard to imagine all she went through prior to earning a seven-figure online business.
It’s her struggles which make her real; it’s the challenges she has overcome that show us where courage truly resides. Her story is the story that lets you know you can do anything you set your mind to if you just try.
That is Ruth’s message for The Principles of Courage section of her book. In fact, she ties it together nicely with an awe-inspiring quote from Steve Jobs that was originally published in a PBS Special, One Last Thing.
Steve Jobs, One Last Thing
When you grow up, you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.
That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is – everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it; you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.
I think that’s very important and however, you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
Courage In Action
Greatness almost always comes from obsession. – Ruth Soukup, Do It Scared™
To help you in your journey to create a life you love, Ruth provides a roadmap to help you find your way. The steps are simple and actionable:
- Claim Your Target: Dream big, narrow your focus, and commit. Designing your life is up to you. Decide what you want, and go for it!
- Find Your Why: Your why is your fuel to push you through the moments of failure and feelings of inadequacies. Be specific and “manufacture a catalyst.”
- Create Your Action Plan: Turn your dream into a goal with your action plan. This is how you are going to make it from point A to point B.
- Form Your Own Truth Club: Honesty is crucial when you are trying to break through a barrier. Make sure those you confide in are willing to say it as they see it.
- Stop Comparing: “Create the life you love, not the life someone else wants” is the message that resonates.
- Eliminate Excuses: Excuses will only hold you back. Make no excuses!
- Stay Encouraged: At the end of the day, no one except yourself is responsible for keeping you on track. Find the best way for you to celebrate your wins so you can tackle your next challenge.
Creating A Life You Love
Mistakes only hurt for a little while, but regret can follow you the rest of your life. – Ruth Soukup, Do It Scared™
So in your quest to find greatness, be sure you surround yourself with greatness. Find mentors who will help you along the way and consume information that inspires you.
If you feel stuck, or if you are just on a massive journey of self-discovery, be sure to check out Ruth Soukup and start chasing your dreams as you create a life you love!