2014 was a year of extraordinary growth for my business. I made investment a priority and still came out with considerably more personal income than ever before. The business more than doubled in revenue from 2013 to 2014 and we blasted through 2 mental thresholds that even two years ago would have seemed quite audacious to me.

Of course, while money is an excellent metric, it’s not the money that really matters. What really matters is that my business grew because I was willing to make some changes that allowed me—and later my team—to be more effective. Those changes were a result of getting even clearer on our Quiet Power Strategy and me embracing my own self-leadership and the leadership of my business.

Those changes also reflect some things that others might see as “shouldn’ts.” Shouldn’ts are the things that you’ve either been explicitly told you shouldn’t do or the opposite of the things you assume you should do. The thing is, I don’t believe in shoulds.

I believe everything in business is a choice.

There's a better way to run your business: your way.

When you cede your choices to shoulds, you give up part of your Quiet Power as a business owner.

Making unique choices that are true to your personal effectiveness makes you more powerful.

Let me tell you some of the things I “shouldn’t” have done in my business that actually lead to this extraordinary growth:

1) I stopped offering one-on-one coaching.

One-on-one coaching served me well. I was able to hone my methodology, develop relationships with amazing business owners, and make good money doing it. Yet, it wasn’t a  sustainable direction for me.

I didn’t just make the switch because it’s “easier” to make money coaching groups than coaching individuals. If you’ve ever tried it, you probably realize that’s a bit of a fallacy. There’s nothing easy about selling 15 spots at once instead of 1.

I made the switch because it didn’t serve my long-term vision. My vision has always been and continues to be one where my business generates revenue based on my ideas, not on my service. I need time to think, connect, and develop. One-on-one coaching doesn’t serve that plan.

I could easily sell time with me for top dollar but it won’t serve me in the long-term and it wouldn’t lead to the kind of growth that we saw this last year.

2) I said no to major list-building activities.

Well, 2014 was the year we hit peak telesummit. The idea of the telesummit is that you gather a whole bunch of great people together and put on a virtual conference of sorts. In theory, I love this idea. In practice, I hate it.

Here’s why: somewhere along the line, people realized that just because you have “celebrities” in your telesummit doesn’t mean you’ll create a huge draw. So marketers started insisting that if they include you, you have to email your list about the summit. Required promotion just isn’t my bag.

My subscriber community (you!) is way too important to me to drop “solo blasts” every time I get interviewed. I still did many great telesummits this year (like the Thriving Artist Summit and the Conquer Summit) but said “no” to any summit that required my promotion to participate.

That way, you know that if I share something with you, it’s because I believe wholeheartedly in it, not because I’m required to share it with you.

3) I gave away some of my best content for free.

Plenty of content marketers will tell you that they’re giving away their best stuff for free. Some of that is true. Some of it isn’t. Here’s what I can tell you about what I did:

I went on CreativeLive 3 times over 10 months and gave away large chunks of my best programs.

You know what happened? My subscriber community grew by leaps and bounds, my membership community grew by 80% (and $1000s per month), and more people bought my highest investment program at that time.

It’s not enough to tell people you can help them. Sometimes, you have to show them that what you’ve got for them is truly different.

4) I launched a new program with no fanfare or marketing.

Last summer, I followed through on a plan I’d had in the works for almost 3 years: I created a business coach training program. Then, I filled it with no fanfare or marketing. I simply said (in 1 Facebook post, no less), “I made this. Are you interested?”

Over 60 people responded that they wanted information. I interviewed over 15 candidates for 6 spots. I took on 4 more people than I originally wanted to. In September, there were 8 brand new business coaches who were armed to the teeth with effective tools and coaching strategies.

And that leads me to point number 5.

5) I trained people to do exactly what I do.

One of the biggest shoulds you’ll hear is that you should make money doing what you’re uniquely able to do. It’s “you” that’s valuable.

That’s crap.

Do you really believe you can create a business that sets you free if you are chained to what’s valuable about your business? No. You don’t believe that. Not really.

Training people to do exactly what I do is key to creating exponentially value in the world. And when I create exponentially more value, I can reap exponentially more rewards.

Besides, I truly want you to believe that you can do what I do. I don’t want to be your crutch, I want to be the person who empowers you to find your own path. That’s what Quiet Power Strategy is all about. You might need a hand to find your business’s Quiet Power Strategy but you should be able to lead yourself over time.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged about what’s on the docket for your business this year, I encourage you to consider which of those things you’ve proactively made the choice to pursue and which are on your plan because they’re shoulds. Examine your course of action on a daily basis to remove the shoulds and embrace the shouldn’ts that work for you.