If I can do it, you can too 15 years in business & it keeps on getting better!
Thank you, Kiss Branding & Design for this opportunity to share a “behind-the-scenes” look at my business success story. I like to do this with my clients as well as too often we see the highlight reel of someone’s “over-night success”, rather than the highs, lows, tears, frustrations and secret triumphs that are more personal in nature, than social-media-worthy. I’ve chosen to take part because I feel so strongly about how important it is for women to support each other; to lift each other up; to inspire and be inspired by each other.
I started my business in 2004 with no start-up capital. I was a 28 year old, single Mum with a ten month old baby, no money in the bank or any material assets other than my car. What I did have was ten years of investing heavily in healing and personal development training and a strong desire to help people heal and learn the tools for authentic, embodied personal power.
It hasn’t been easy.
I’d often cry driving away from dropping my son at child care. It wasn’t how I’d wanted to start back working but the timetable moved up quite dramatically with becoming a single Mum, rather than just a Mum who’d started a wholistic counselling course when she found out she was pregnant, planning a slow return to work, in a role that was soulfully nourishing.
Like us all, there are multiple facets of me; many loves and interests. For many years those parts have pulled in opposite directions. I am multi-passioned with a huge desire and drive to share tools, hold space to support authentic, personal empowerment. I have a “Book of Ideas” where I am always writing down the products I want to make and the topics I want to share about. I’m also a Mum who loves being a Mum. I loved playing with my children when they were younger and I love chatting with them, joking and s haring together now that they are older. In those first ten years I had so many ideas but so little time and cash flow so the need to prioritise was really important. I didn’t always get it right. I’ve burned out a few times, sacrificing sleep and self-care to the other passions that drive me. I realise that I really yearned to be a full-time mother and a full-time business owner which obviously doesn’t work. I got so much energy from my work and I loved being with my children so it was very challenging to divide myself between what felt like two opposite directions. I eventually came to peace with the part-time nature of both those really important parts of my life.
For the first ten years in business I continually invested in learning. I kept adding modalities, more and more tools. Learning and development is one of my top values but it took a lot of years for me to realise that some of what was driving this was lurking “not good enough” stuff. Like, when I have this next qualification or skillset then my business will flourish. I still invest in myself but now it’s from a place of self-love, excitement about growth and allowing myself to be nourished by the wisdom of others – we are not meant to reinvent the wheel or do wonderful things alone.
The reality is that Wholistic Vitality has grown, each and every year, slowly but surely and steadily – when looked at from year’s end. Week to week there are ups and downs,depending on what’s happening. I now know to think of it like the tides. Highs and lows, full moon and dark moon. None of it is a reflection of my worth. It can be a reflection of my energy so I do prioritise days off, time to have fun, to rest and nourish myself.
There has been some really heart-melting, fantastic highlights. I have released two original, personal development, affirmation CD’s that are bought and streamed hundreds of times a month all over the world. I created an e-book, online courses and in 2013 had a book published by Balboa Press (a division of Hay House) – sharing what I wished the whole world know about how powerful people are. I’ve helped, in person, over a thousand people in my 1-1 sessions and workshops (more if I include public speaking).
But please know that there’s been lowlights, too. I’ve felt so, so tired and lost. I’ve not known what to do and I’ve wasted a lot of time, money and energy doing things that didn’t achieve what I hoped for. I’ve felt alone. I’ve been in tears with frustration and disappointment. I’ve been super-excited about workshops that made my heart and soul sing that never took off the way I dreamed. I’ve had (what looked to be) amazing opportunities present themselves but not had the support with child care or the freedom financially to travel in the ways required, to be able to say “yes” to them.
I am now 42 years old, with two children, a fifteen and ten year old. I’m still a single Mum for now. I have a feeling that the synergistic partnership I’ve dreamed of for many years is not far away. He’ll need to be comfortable with all my multi-passioned activity and I won’t be choosing him from lack – lack of money, sleep, support, company or cuddles. It feels amazing to be financially set up, built from my own efforts (and still growing each and every year). I have started planning and writing my second book, grateful for all I learned with the first. I’m working on the songs for my third Sing Your Affirmations CD and have huge plans in motion now to expand my sharing through Australia and the USA in the next few years. I’m through the tough years. The bulk of my work is from referrals and the keynote speaking and public workshops I run and will run more of. I have so much hope and joy in my work and I know my recipe for self-nourishment. There will always be more to learn but I do it knowing my value and living in alignment with my priorities. It is a truly wonderful way to live and it’s possible for you, too. I still have days when I get tired or disappointed but have the freedom to wrap myself in a blanky and read a good book, or go for a walk in the forest or float in my spa to reinvigorate my energy. Any flatness is feedback that I need to attend to something differently and I’ve learned to listen and follow this embodied guidance.
I’d like to leave you with three pieces of hard-won wisdom in the hope that you can benefit from my learning: When you fall for a great bit of advertising but the product doesn’t deliver.
When you fall for a great bit of advertising but the product doesn’t deliver.
When you feel really guided to do something in your business, invest in support or create anew product or class, you will always learn something valuable. Perhaps it might be to ask more questions before hiring someone who says they’re an expert or to read the fine print more closely, but that’s still a great learning! As you dust yourself off from any disappointment, own the learning, add it to your wisdom and don’t look back to criticise yourself. Celebrate your boldness and bravery and keep on keepi ng on.
I have countless experiences of being torn between work, parenthood, relationships and my yearning for learning and adventures (outside of work). I have also worked with many women, pushing themselves to success in one area of their lives and choosing a whole lot of medication (self-administered or otherwise) to deal with how out of alignment they are with their other values and priorities. In the long-term, it doesn’t work to be so disjointed. So, when making decisions about your business, think of all of you; your hopes and dreams for your whole life and not just your working life. It may take a little longer to achieve your short-term goals but there will be no debilitating stress or burn out so in the long-term, you get there faster.
There is nothing like a talented coach or mentor to shortcut and smooth the way towards our goals. In the absence of one we can kid ourselves with “busy” work without ever really facing our fears and embracing our true greatness. The awesome ones are a wise, healing balm in our learning tumbles and also a heart-honouring cheer squad to our successes. This is an expense I continuously have and honour in my business. There will always be someone to learn from and grow with. My goals for the next three years are huge so I’m investing more heavily in support than ever before and the results are priceless.
Thank you for reading. I wish you a glorious future in your life and business. Stick with it. There is no one else in the world that’s offering what you do, in the special way you do it. There is a market for what you yearn to share so please keep on going. You deserve all the success you dream of!
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