Lessons from the first year

first year of businessThis was my first full year running my coaching and consulting business like, well, a business, not a hobby. Last week I shared with you the mentors, coaches and friends who have sustained me in developing my business, healing myself, and staying grounded during 2010. This week, I'm here to tell you something very important.

Ease takes a lot of effort.

Running a business is not for the faint of heart.  It requires an astonishing amount of courage -- it absolutely shows us all the ways we are hiding from ourselves or the world, and the ways we talk to ourselves about what we can, or can't, do.  To create ease in a business and to create ease in our life requires consistent and steady attention.  To maintain that...

You've got to absolutely love what you are doing.

If you don't completely LOVE what you are doing, the effort it takes to reach a measure of ease in your business is going to feel like pulling teeth. When I first started coaching, I thought I wasn't coaching if I wasn't helping people shed limiting beliefs through The Work of Byron Katie.  And you know, it just wasn't my thing.  It didn't light me up.

And it started feeling like a chore to talk to my clients.  That was hard.  So I went back to the drawing board.  Many times.

Don't be afraid to try different things if it's not right.

I must have changed my niche 1,000 times.  I hemmed, I hawed, I rewrote copy, I redesigned my header, I futzed.  I practiced different elevator speeches on  my very patient friends...  I tried out different kinds of offers. I felt like I was in a big dressing room, trying things on and tossing them off. It was a process.  But when it "landed" I KNEW it.  I was having fun, loving my clients, and it felt ease-filled. My business really started growing.

Your right work honors the BEST things about you

Lots of healers and coaches go looking for that elusive 'something' (certifications, trainings, degrees, classes...) that they think will  confer "readiness" on them.  But you know, USUALLY, these brilliant women are just overlooking what is already there.

When I first thought about business coaching, I was non-plussed.  I went into the coaching business to get away from business (I know that's confusing, but stay with me), but really, what I kept talking about and was really excited to talk to other coaches and healers about?  Their business.  Their plans, their strategies, their structures...  And, of course, their yoga practice, or, how yoga could help them be better at their chosen work.

Once I embraced that, the effort truly did become ease-filled. And it played to all the strengths that I have been cultivating my whole life, just being me.  We really don't have to go looking for anything else.

(note: I'm a life-long learner (and you probably are, too) so learning is a GOOD thing -- except when we use it as an excuse to stop doing our work in the world.)

We can be nourished by our business and when that happens, our clients feel it.  Because we are in a flow of ease and grace.

When we love what we are doing, and what we are doing honors our natural talents, gifts, and preferences, the effort feels graceful and fluid. A perfect alignment and exchange of energy.

Where are you with your business?  What needs to happen in 2011 to reach that magical place of flow and organic growth?

Namasté to you, business yoginis!

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Posted on November 17, 2010 and filed under Being an entrepreneur, On being a business yogini.