How I struggled when I first started my business

Joanna There was a time, not too, too long ago, when I wasn’t moving forward at ALL in my business. I remember waking up the first “official” day of my business 11 years ago, and didn’t know what to do with myself or where to start.

I had taken the risk. I had taken the leap. I had left the job with full-time benefits and health insurance to pursue my dream.

And yet I couldn’t move.

I didn’t know what to do, and I was too scared to even begin to figure it out. A ton of fears came rushing in: I wasn’t going to make any money. I wasn’t going to be successful. I was going to be inauthentic if I had to market. I was going to be a total flop.

With all of those fears running the show, I basically made myself really busy just to ease my state of fear and panic and give myself the illusion that I was moving forward. I told myself that if I was “busy”, then it meant I wasn’t lazy and I wasn’t falling behind.

I didn’t have a plan and didn’t know what I was doing. So, I just tackled everything. There was so much to do, and I felt I needed to do it all at once.

Well, you can imagine what happened: I was working 70+ hour weeks. I was working constantly — day and night, weekends and holidays. It didn’t matter. I needed so badly to make it work, to prove to myself that I was ok and good enough, that I just plowed through and plowed through. I made myself as busy and occupied as possible.

And yet, for all of my hard work, I wasn’t getting very far. In fact, I was mostly wasting my time and energy, and it was leaving me exhausted and frustrated, without any time left over for self-care or self-connection or friendships or my romantic life or anything else that was important to me. I felt like a complete failure most of the time. I wasn’t making much money. I wasn’t serving as many people as I knew I was meant to. I was ashamed and in deep judgment of myself. And I certainly wasn’t living my dream.

This frantic pace without results and living in fear went on for a few months until I hit rock bottom. What I finally learned in those trying moments is that I wasn’t moving forward because I was sabotaging myself. I was self-sabotaging because of two very powerful internal fears — the first was that I wasn’t really cut out to be an entrepreneur, and the second was that if I really put myself out there, if I TRULY made myself visible, that I’d come off as too salesy, too desperate, and too pushy…and, just like everyone else, trying to make a buck.

Well, everything changed after that important realization of my fears.

Becoming aware of my fears allowed me to clearly see all the ways I was holding myself back, and it also allowed me to start choosing new actions and new beliefs.

I developed very clear methods for myself around how to get really focused in on what I wanted to accomplish, and how to strategize and create an effective marketing & operations game plan for myself that felt personalized and in integrity for me. I also got clear on how to fit everything into my busy schedule, and how to finally face and move through my fears of failure and inadequacy, so that I could truly love myself and have confidence in myself and my work.

This all took some time and effort. In moments, it was really challenging. But I stuck with it all — all of the inner work and all of the persistent outer strategy. My business then began growing and bringing in abundance. I started filling all of my offerings. I crossed the 6-figure mark and then doubled that, and then doubled that again. And I was finally able to make time and energy for the things that I love to do.

The learnings were immense, and the biggest one of all is that I could indeed create what I wanted to create, that I had it in me to be a successful business owner who valued herself and her work.

I am sharing all of this with you because I know that if I can create all this, so can YOU.

But it needs to start with you being willing to acknowledge all the ways you’ve been hiding and holding yourself back. Are you ready?

You may need some ideas and brainstorming and guidance along the way, you may need someone to have confidence in you as you build it in yourself, you may need someone to help co-create your plan and hold you accountable. And all that is OK (I need those things too at times). You can do it.

If you want support on any or all of these things so that you can own a business that feels sacred and thriving, get in touch with me. I’d love to explore how I can help you with all of this.

With love,
Joanna

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