The Truth About My Dying Business
When I worked at Jenny Craig, New Year’s Day was one of our biggest days of the year. No surprise there, right?
The New Year offers us a tangible reason to reflect on the previous year and set goals for where we want to be in the coming year.
For me, 2016 is a year to start fresh. It is a year for me to finally let go of lingering hurts, old numbers still haunting my phone (I finally deleted some numbers that I really didn’t need anymore), stale visions for my business, and tired beliefs.
And I’m starting my year by coming clean. My word for 2016 is truth.
Truth wasn’t the word I wanted. I wanted my word to be “abundance” or “connection” but neither felt quite right. As I sat and took a 10 minute break yesterday, the word came to me: truth.
You see, I have been feeling this intense disconnect all year. I’m shy and I’m introverted, so feeling awkward in social situations is nothing new to me. But this was different. It was like a glass wall separating me from everyone else in my life, except for my son. As much as I tried, I couldn’t seem to feel deeply connected to anyone. Perhaps this is part of motherhood and learning how to be a mom and still have a life outside of it. But I suspect it was more about truth.
All year, I have been trying to present a version of myself and my business that wasn’t true. I didn’t want anyone to know that my business has been completely falling apart all year. In fact, it’s been going downhill since my first year in business. From 2012 until now, I have successively made LESS money each year than the previous year. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the way it’s supposed to work.
But I didn’t want anyone to know that because then I would have to admit the truth to myself: it just wasn’t working.
Here’s a cold, hard fact about this year: I ended the year in the red. That has never happened before.
And here are some other truths: I got anxiety anytime someone asked me how my business was going. I got anxiety before client sessions. Basically I had anxiety around my whole business. Honestly, I haven’t liked my business the last couple of years. I’ve LOVED my clients and the actual work I did with them when I was in it, but my overall business model? Ugh. It was all over the place. I didn’t know what I was doing. Everything felt off.
I just wanted to quit.
In fact, I almost did quit.
But instead, I picked myself up and started experimenting. Started getting honest with myself. Started reaching out for help. Started asking myself what was fear, what was intuition, and where I needed to go.
And the answers were clear.
Close down your gluten free blog.
Stop doing hypnotherapy sessions.
Stop doing anything that doesn’t bring you complete joy.
Create the retreat space you’ve always wanted, but make it virtual rather than in person. Pour your varied passions and skills into this, and find other women with the skills you don’t have and invite them to be guest teachers in your retreat.
Move forward. Start fresh.
Make 2016 your make or break year.
And you know what happened? The second I started being honest about all of this, not just with myself but with friends, family, and potential clients, the wall that had been separating me from the world began to vanish.
It took the whole year for me to get here, but finally, just in time for New Year’s Eve, I got it.
My biggest lesson from 2015 is that when you hold back your truth from yourself and other people, it’s very difficult to connect with anyone.
And can I tell you something super cool that happened this past week? As soon as I got clear on what I was going to do – and not do – in my business in 2016, I had a dream that a female surgeon (that seemed important to me) was giving me a lung transplant. I was in the bed awaiting the surgery, and there was no fear. I knew the healthy lung was ready for me, and the old lung was ready to come out.
When I woke up, of course I googled dreams about lungs and found out that unhealthy lungs in dreams can represent the death of your business.
My old business is indeed dying, and I am ready to receive a healthy new business for 2016.
And so I’m offering up my truth to you. And my truth is this: I started a business in 2012, and despite my efforts, it has slowly failed. I failed.
I don’t feel bad about it though. In fact, I feel pretty psyched.
Because beginning today, I’m starting a new business. Same website, same me, new mindset. It might not look so different from the outside, but it feels completely different on the inside. It’s about joy. It’s about creating the life that’s just right for me.
And ultimately, it’s about truth.