This month, I am celebrating the 10th business anniversary, and feeling thankful for this milestone.
It has been quite a journey! Today, I would therefore love to share with you 4 of the most profound experiences and lessons from it:
First and foremost, in the beginning of this entrepreneurial journey, I also became a mom to my two remarkable daughters. Daughters who, in so many ways, are the oil that keep my fire going, the wind that remains in my sails.
When I look into their eyes, I am reminded of thousands of women who have paved this road, fought their fights, and sacrificed their lives so that we get to live ours. They give me the courage to be braver.
In the eyes of my daughters, I also see a whole galaxy of possibilities, opportunities, and eternal optimism. They are my inspiration to dream bigger.
And, they are my teachers who have also taught me how to just be still, in the moment.
Because sometimes, being still is just about all that I can do. All that I must do…
See, on this glorious journey, I also experienced the dark night of the soul! I am not talking about depression or anxiety or despair or sadness. I am talking about this mystical experience that Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith describes as “profound movement in consciousness that unravels the entanglements of ego, metaphorically bringing us to our knees by taking us through a seeming disintegration so that we may reintegrate at a higher level of consciousness. If we surrender and give our consent, we receive the dark night’s gracious gifts. If we reject it, we miss its contribution to our evolutionary progress.”
Indeed, from those experiences, I have become stronger in my softness, sharper in my openness to receive, and much more clear in my mission, purpose, and vision.
These radical transformations then then do reflect tremendously in the evolution of the work that I get to do . In the gifts that I am privileged to share. In one way or another. (Well, it does go both ways.)
Which is why I am immensely thankful for the people who have trusted me in helping them over this past decade:
...whether it was through my hands-on and done-for-you virtual assistance and online business management services (in the first few years);
...or with business consulting and mindset coaching;
...or more recent, expansive, and all-encompassing life coaching, quantum strategies and healing.
Perhaps the most exciting part of it is the fact that results of our work, play, and magic that my clients and I co-create, never look one way; it's whatever the clients want to have a greater experience of, and all that matters to them!
What matters to them.
What does matter?
This question alone has profoundly impacted the (re)imagining and designing of my business model. And life itself. And, it empowered me to honor (new) boundaries over these ten years!
So the second point of this post is the realization that what matters in the moment will change.
The order of priorities of the long-term goals might change.
Our capacity to create, to receive, to hold,...it can all change.
Especially when somewhere deep inside, there is something that is looking to emerge through us.
But here is the challenge: when you are a driven, highly-accomplished action taker like myself - who has built your whole life on the audacity to make leaps of faith, and who lives fast and in a quantum field where time oftentimes simply doesn’t exist…
…chances are also that your incredible intelligence tends to hold onto the desire to control chronological timelines. Processes. Outcomes. In other words, it’s easy to get impatient.
Which brings us to the third lesson I have learned - and that I am, honestly, still working on.
Letting go and letting be is not always as poetic as the Beatles’ song. It's a delicate conjunction of art and science that can quickly turn into the "bull in a china shop" catastrophe. Particularly when our egos, preconceived notions, generational and cultural programming get involved.
That's when even the best strategies, the most disciplined mindset work, nor the most devoted spiritual practice simply won't be enough.
If I have ever felt deeply frustrated, and borderline-inadequate, it would be at those crossroads, in moments like that.
Yes, I have been there a few times:
…When I look around, and nothing seems to be working; in fact - when the harder that I work, the less of a progress I seem to be making.
…When the same people who had sought me out and asked for my help are buying their Mercedeses and second houses with cash, but I am unable to even pay my own bills.
…When the coaches with impeccable client track record offer to release me from their program - or even work for free, perplexed that their “proven methods” are failing here.
…When the very things (attitudes, philosophies, and actions) that I had built my success on, could now literally kill me (along with my business and my marriage).
I would love to tell you about this magical spell, a fast elevator, and the 3-step formula to catapult yourself out of such situation.
But I can’t.
The reason for that is that there is no elevator to sustainable success, each of us needs to take stairs. Besides - what does success even mean to you? How do you measure it? When was the last time you took the time to actually gain that clarity with yourself? Have you noticed anything different around you afterwards?
What I can tell you… What I can promise you, is that the answers are most often pretty simple! That it's truly us who keep it all so complex and complicated. It’s oftentimes the self-imposed glass ceilings that we keep hitting against. Myopic vision that gives us illusion of safety, security. Of arbitrary importance (measured by vain metrics. And the proximity to power.
So what happens when we are brave and audaciously to go for it?
In short - our lives can change. And yes, sometimes altering our own trajectory will cost us relationships, positions, places. It will also bring us new ones that are much more aligned. (And the ones who are meant to, can and will remain, in one way or the other.)
Lastly, I really didn't mean to turn this into a philosophical session, but 10 years sometimes simply cannot be distilled into three bullet-pointed take-aways.
Besides, there surely is something so intriguing when we give ourselves permission to look deeper. To remove and neutralize the lens though which we see things. A simple shift in perception and an elevated perspective.
Which brings me to the fourth and final thing that has been so remarkable, so integral: mentors, coaches, and consultants who have supported me along the way. Just like the best neurosurgeon cannot operate on their own brains, we cannot go at it alone. Well, having a coach, consultant, mentor saves a lot of time and money.
You want to know the next steps so take, and it’s helpful to have a guide. Otherwise (costly) mistakes become or guide. And time, time becomes our guide. And we just have so few finite years here on the planet. It goes by quick. And we all feel it all more now than ever.
Over these ten years, I have invested in tune of multiple 6-figures in personal and professional development (not to mention the amount of hours). Sometimes when my husband and I sit on a couch together after the kiddos are already asleep, a question comes up about “what could we do with all that money instead?”
“It would go towards our divorce attorneys, among other things!” I jokingly respond. But, I am serious!
There is this aspect of becoming and being an entrepreneur that doesn’t get talked about much: it’s not just a thing we do. It’s who we are. It’s a way of living.
Because when we got married, I was a young ambitious woman with an aspiration to climb that corporate ladder towards some fancy corner office overlooking the Central Park. So making this sharp right-turn towards business ownership (after I lost my job when I found out I was pregnant), did take a toll. It came with some consequences. Sacrifices. For both partners. It always does. Regardless of whether or not the other partner wanted to go down that route. Regardless of how understanding and supporting the other partner is/becomes along the way.
(No, therapy did not work for us. But coaching has/does. For the both of us even if it was just me actively working with the experts. Talk about ROI and ROE.)
So yes, when I say that I am walking my talk and that I have built for myself everything that have been helping my clients with, I mean it.
And I mean it when I say that the results we co-create never look one way! What my clients have wanted to have a greater experience of, what matters to them the most, and what they actually did get to celebrate, includes things like:
- collapsing timelines and turning their 25-year dream into reality within a year or two: from moving cross-country, to buying a dream home, to having a family (and no longer feeling trapped, scared, and overwhelmed);
- creating richer experiences, and being more present, clear, and focused in all they set out to do and become (and no longer burning out at multi-7-fig revenues as a primary home provider consumed with guilt, shame);
- multiplying revenues, profits, and free time with integrity, harmony (and no longer working so much, so hard for what they though success and empire should look like);
- reviving marriages, deepening and strengthening relationships with themselves, their loved ones, and their teams (and no longer being triggered, feeling isolated, and wanting to run away);
- making a more positive impact and high-value, lasting contribution to the world with greater fulfillment and joy (while turning the world into their playground).
Which is why, in the conclusion of this reflection, there is one more person in particular whom I owe a depth of gratitude, appreciation, and whom I so deeply respect and admire and love: my husband. Every day, I am exalted in his love. He supports me. He picks me up when I am down. And he does not let me play small. Without him, I would not be here, sharing this journey - it would look much differently… it does take a village!
Therefore, and despite of all the ups and downs, I know that the next ten years will be even more magnificent - because the best is yet to come!
And - thank you dear reader, for your time, energy and attention! I means a lot to have you here and to be able to share this journey with you!