I have this habit of creating elaborate catastrophes in order to get to the things that I desire most.
Trust, it seems, is still a work in progress for me (and my compass word for 2018).
Last week, I wrote a long post about what 2018 was going to look like for me – a return to consulting work, less business, etc. etc.
And then, as it always happens for me, my body started to resist the coercion I was trying to surreptitiously dress up as true desire.
I won’t go into the full story here, as this is not what this post is for. But what I will say is that all my plans, within 24 hours, came crumbling down. Or rather, my body told me – with all its force – that my plans weren’t true to me. And I needed to come back in, back in close and to loosen my grip on life again.
I wrote a long, apologetic email to the woman who would have been my new boss in the consulting work. I can’t do it, I said. My body is screaming no.
I’ve always told you I’d be honest. And so here I am. Vulnerable, open and raw. Telling you I made a mistake. Or maybe, more precisely, that I created a large obstacle to block what it it was I truly desired, knowing that by doing so, I would resist the obstacle – and be landed exactly where I wanted to be.
It is only by taking steps, I always say, that we really feel the full weight of something. It is in the taking of steps and the listening to the feedback that we learn what works. Not in the intellectualising or hypothesising – the perpetual paralysis that we feel will keep us safe.
And so here I am – exactly where I wanted to be all along. With my attention nestled firmly where it should be – a gentle hand linked with my inner guide. Arms wrapped tightly around my loves – my daughter, husband and very needy animals. And a heart open with opportunity for where this new space for business might take me. No plans… just impressions. And a willingness, this time, to let myself be guided.
So as I’ve been adjusting to this new reality – and the crashing down of plans laid out – I’ve been reflecting on all that I’ve learned in business in the last four years. I hope that – if 2018 is to be the year you venture forth in creating something of a business for yourself – it helps you. This is the advice I wish I knew back then… but so grateful I have been guided to embody now (with a lot of help from very clever women).
1. Just start
We can spend endless months getting our offering, website, product absolutely perfect… only to realise instantly that everything needs to change. This kind of perfectionism is the absolute epitome of being disconnected from our feminine selves – a sickness that has pervaded our consciousness via patriarchy and masculine marketing models. Your business will change – because your business is an expression of your creative energy, and therefore, a representation of you. And you will change, which is perfect, because not changing means stagnation of energy and an abandonment of listening to your body – favouring your intellect and rational mind to be in charge. And yet you know what people are drawn to? Your creative energy. Your pure, soul-aligned being-ness. Your ability to be truthful and honest. I look back at my first offerings and products and cringe…. but I don’t regret one single thing I’ve done. Without starting, I never would have gotten better. I never would have learned. So just start – start somewhere, but start small. You don’t need to build an empire overnight – all you need to do is find that creative inkling, birth it, and listen to the rebound in your body. From there you will know what comes next. Stop planning, procrastinating, and perfecting. Just take a step. You are always supported.
2. You need the feminine… but you also need the masculine
A good friend reminded me of this on the weekend. I love my business – especially the creative side of content creation, coaching sessions, workshop creation and product development. But I have, over the last few years), abandoned the masculine energy within me and as a result my business and life have suffered. We need a balance of both energies – we need the creative, but we also need the systems (not all of them now, mind you) to hold the feminine creativity and expression and enable the earning of money from our business (which supports our families and own desires) and the ability to hold pain when the emotions get big and scary. Don’t abandon the financial side or administrative side, and listen to the calls coming from within to grow your business when the time is right. My little business, this year, is finally growing up which means some more structures to enable me to earn enough income to support the things that matter most to me (and to free up my husband to spend more time with me and our daughter). The solution for me? I’m getting some help to do the things that I resist doing, so I can stick to doing the things that come naturally to me. And on a personal level, I am focusing on birthing the divine masculine (not the distorted version that has come to be the norm in society) so I can stay close to myself when things get big and hard.
3. Talk about what you do… or what you plan to do
It took me soooooo long to start talking about my business to other people… thinking that people were going to judge me, or they didn’t understand, or they wouldn’t be interested. And then I’d get frustrated that friends and family wouldn’t ask me about my work, or that I wasn’t getting clients. The truth is if you are passionate about something and you walk your talk, people LOVE hearing about it. Believe it or not, and contrary to what you think, most people do want you to succeed in your dreams and will support you to the end. Show up and be passionate – and be true to yourself. The resonance that has is far more magnetic than any marketing bullshit you’re going to learn how to do online.
4. ‘Failures’ are your best teachers
I’ve experienced many, many so called failures in my business. Website crashes, disastrous coaching calls, workshop cancellations, mass unsubscribes, hurtful comments, trolling and yes… I once did a fanny fart in a postnatal yoga class (which, ironically, was due to my own postpartum pelvic floor issues). Each time, I thought I’d die. I thought I’d never go on. And then each day, I’d get up and be pulled back into my business – because I cared more about expressing my creativity and following my soul’s calling than the perceived ‘failure’. Sometimes my hurt would last days and weeks. But every time, it would diminish and I look back on some of these incidences now and laugh at how sensitive I was. Truthfully, each one has been a portal to some kind of success – whether to overcome my own insecurities and money blocks, or in the calling in of women destined to co-create something together. I will no doubt have many, many more of these over the years to come… but I no longer fear them. I know I am equipped to deal with them and if I stay true to my intention – which is to do the work myself and therefore give other women permission to do the same – I focus on this and remember that there aren’t too many things that can take me away from that simple, clear, desire.
5. Define your version of success
Which brings me to my next bit of advice… from day one, I wish I had of defined my own version of success, so I didn’t get pulled into the vortex of thinking I wanted to create a six figure business in one year. If, from the start, I had of known where my business supported me, how it fitted into my broader life goals, and what I deemed as success then I would have saved a lot of heartache and thinking I was doing it all wrong. My business success now is intimately related to what I’m working toward in life – I don’t see the two as so disconnected any more. Success, to me, is being kind. Success is being true to myself. Success is having a creative outlet. Success is caring. Success is having income to support my family’s adventures and growth. Success is growth and learning. That’s it. I have no desires to create a multi-million dollar empire with hundreds of staff, but it’s OK if you do. Whatever it is, define it, and then have the courage to tune in and focus on your own path, regardless of what others are doing. Check out more inspo in this podcast on quitting the 9-5 and finding your values.
6. Get help
All of us need help in something as bold and courageous as birthing a creative or business venture into the world. I have invested tens of thousands of dollars into my own personal development and into learning what I need to run my business solo for four years. Find someone that resonates with your vision of success and ask for help. No, you don’t have to work it out all on your own. In fact the journey will be so much richer (and faster) if you’re clear on what you need and where to get it.
Hoping that helps!
Sending you much love,
I’ve been having a lot of calls with women who are feeling called to work one-one as part of the Awaken coaching program, and many of them are looking to birth their own creative ventures this year. If you would like to chat about whether working in this way would support your goals, book your Awaken discovery here. There are three and six months options available – and just a few places left beginning February.