I’ve had a lot of jobs in the 33 years I’ve been alive.
I used to be a cocktail server. I also worked as a hostess, a steakhouse server, a Mexican-restaurant server, a newspaper intern, and a barista.
I’ve worked at a bookstore, a jewelry store, a cable company, a sheet-metal company, a church, an inner-city school (as a therapist), and a family-counseling center (as a play-therapist).
My longest-running job, however, was as a nanny to a few wealthy families in the wildly affluent Highland Park, Texas. Through my undergraduate studies in psychology, while I earned a master’s degree in counseling, and well into the Ph.D. that I eventually left behind to start and grow my business, I burped babies, cooked chicken nuggets for snack time, and folded someone else’s downy-soft Egyptian-cotton bath towels.
I spent the rest of my waking hours hanging flyers for my life-coaching business on every bulletin board at every Starbucks in Dallas every day, working with the early clients those flyers brought me, and trying to piece enough money together to pay my rent and create the life I wanted. I built my first website myself by reading very non-blonde-girl-friendly message boards and watching how-to YouTube videos. There were many all-nighters as I taught myself internet marketing, online branding, and digital content creation, but I was determined.
By the time I graduated with my master’s degree and dropped out of my Ph.D. program, I had a couple hundred thousand dollars in student-loan debt and no money in savings, and I had gotten enough of a taste of entrepreneurship through my baby life-coaching business that I knew I absolutely could not work for someone else. I was afraid — really, really afraid — of failure, but I had a hunch that I could do this. I had to figure out how to make money and make a difference.
It’s been five years since I quit my Ph.D. program and five years and three months since I launched my first digital course. Today, Amanda Frances Inc. is a multimillion-dollar company that provides unique business-development and personal-development courses to hundreds of thousands of women, teaching them how to launch their own online businesses and empowering them to design lives and businesses they love. I am completely self-taught when it comes to the technology, marketing, branding, and messaging sides of my business. My company grossed nearly $3 million in revenue last year and earned $1 million in the first quarter of 2019.
Catapulting my life from being a nanny from Sand Springs, Oklahoma, to a multimillionaire CEO living in Malibu, California, while running the company of my dreams might seem like a far-fetched, meteoric rise based on pure luck and chance, but if there’s one thing I know for certain it’s this: You can have the life you’ve designed in your dreams, every single bit of it.
Lots of people like to ask me what mentors I had, what business books I read. Who did I follow? I have never read a single business book or taken a business course. I don’t listen to podcasts. I simply chose (and continue to choose) to learn how to master my own wealth and destiny, and then teach other women to do the same.
Here are my three best and biggest pieces of advice for moving your vision forward and achieving your dreams.
1. Decide what you will have. Write it down.
In my eight years of running this company and five years of my business fully supporting me, I have observed that when most people say they’re going to do something, they often go back and forth, questioning themselves often, while taking on outside opinions that say their desired outcome is far-fetched and impossible to achieve.
The truth is, without a real decision, nothing ever moves forward.
A firm, committed, non-negotiable internal decision is required to move your dreams forward.
Every day in my journal, I listed who I was, what I would have, and where I was going.
That is something I still do today.
That nanny/cocktail server had already made her decision. The company I have today was clear in my heart and mind from behind that bar.
2. Hold two visions at a time.
My first business goal was to afford two blowouts a month and pay my rent with business earnings.
Eight years later, I’m buying a multimillion-dollar house in a posh neighborhood in LA and meet seven-figure investment goals. How?
I hold two visions at once. I always know what the short-term goal is (i.e., the next thing you will buy, do, or pay off in the immediate future) and what the long-term goal is (the big vision in your life and the wild goals you deeply long to achieve).
Through holding two visions at a time, I can take daily steps to move both goals forward.
I encourage you to see yourself at your next level of success while continuing to do what is required in your daily life.
In this way, you can meet the daily needs of your business while knowing that all steps are adding up to your bigger vision.
Even when I was in school and working three of these jobs at a time, I did what was required each day for those jobs and held tightly to the vision of the company I was building.
3. Ignore everyone — and I mean everyone.
A lot of people will have opinions about what you should do to achieve your dreams.
Unless they have what you want, ignore them. (This includes your psychic, your pastor, and your parents.) You have to do what works for, is right for, and makes sense to you.
It doesn’t matter who says it isn’t wise, realistic, or business-savvy. You have the unique insight for the business that you desire to bring to the world. You have to trust your own intuition.
The thing is, the rules are outdated. And only going after what is realistic is not what your soul is yearning for.
Only listen to the people and things that help you believe in yourself and your limitless possibility.
Whether you’re just embarking on your entrepreneurial journey or are well into it, remember that a daily commitment to yourself and your vision is the difference between a business that barely moves forward and experiences inconsistent success and a thriving business that multiplies its revenue every year.
Back when I was working all those jobs (not that long ago, really!) I knew and believed in the plans I had for myself and my life — and acted accordingly each day.
Amanda Frances is a self-made multimillionaire, digital course creator, Forbes contributor, podcaster, and spiritual business mentor to the hundreds of thousands of women who follow her work online. In the world of personal development, she is widely known as the “Money Manifestation Queen.”
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.