So I’ve made some major business mistakes over these past few weeks – yes weeks – since opening my little studio here in Hawthorn East, Melbourne. To paint a picture, here is a short list of some of those mistakes:
- I decided to name the studio Naked Yoga. Enough said.
- I had 5000 brochures printed with Naked Yoga branding. They’re still in the box and will never see the light of day, as the brand no longer exists.
- I decided to hire a cheap electrician to install a light box. Hello insurance claim within 13 days of opening.
- I started using Mind Body software, which not only costs the earth but is the most confusing software known to man – for both myself and for my students.
- I printed student manuals in colour at Officeworks without seeking a quote first. Hello second mortgage…
It’s not uncommon to see in business books the recommendation to “do what you love” when it comes to starting a business. I’ve learned very early on there is good reason for this advice. For one, I don’t see the point living a life investing time and energy into something you dislike. But also, for two, because it’s highly likely shit will fall apart at different times, it’s the passion that will give you the resilience to keep going. To pick up the pieces, despite how stressful or scary the process might be.
Nothing brings me more joy than teaching yoga. I feel so lucky to have found a path that offers so much meaning to my life and I am confident yoga will remain with me forever. And all I can say is – thank goodness I love yoga as much as I do – or I can assure I would not be hanging in there the way I am! To run my own business and let go of all financial security is not only super scary, but also a risky move. But for anyone who knows me, they know its’ not uncommon for me to make crazy decisions in pursuit of something meaningful and exciting. Since a young age, I was of the attitude that if I want something, or if I want to shape my life to look a certain way then I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. This is not an easy way of living by any means, but I couldn’t imagine thinking any other way about the possibilities out there.
Whilst I’m committed to living the most authentic life possible, this is not to say it doesn’t come with the added bonus of stress lingering in the background. Often I have days where I second-guess myself, want to run away and hide or actually fear success (sounds ridiculous right!). It’s the truth. To live an authentic life can be extraordinarily confronting on so many levels and I’m not going to pretend that because I’m a yoga teacher I float around in a world of bliss, totally stress free. Sure, this would be lovely, but it would be complete bullshit. Truth be told, my life is full of amazing and addictive highs, but also some very nervous, stressful lows.
Fortunately, however, my practice has helped me to identify and work through those more stressful days and accept them for what they are without falling in a heap and giving up. To appreciate and acknowledge that I too am human and can worry at times. In saying that, I also make a conscious effort not to dwell in this place either as this is in no way helpful when feeling under pressure. This just exacerbates the problems and pulls solutions further away.
All too often I’ve seen people stress about money and fear of success to the point of throwing away a dream. For me, yes those stressors are very real. VERY REAL. But they are all a necessary part of this journey and I think framing tough times in this type of light helps to overcome the more challenging times – for I know this is for a greater good and that I will find a way to move through it. That tougher, more stressful time are shaping who I am as a business woman and as a person. That I am learning fundamental lessons about how to think laterally, face adversity and pull myself up when I fall.
To help alleviate stress, I’m very aware there are MANY more mistakes to be had, and whilst this is not ideal, its necessary for growth. That they will help me in the long run. I just need to keep breathing during those scarier time for I know when I remember to breathe deeply, the negativity vanishes and hope reignites.
I always trust it will be ok. How do I know this? Because there is no other option.
So if you’re feeling stressed or worried about a new venture you’re starting or planning to start, just remember to breathe deeply, accept that things will go wrong and enjoy the ride. It will all be worth it in the end. You got this!
Sending hugs and high-fives!