Celebrating, releasing, and re-visioning
This summer, I’m celebrating 7 years in business. Having started my business back in 2014, it feels like both a lifetime ago, and like it only just happened.
In that time, I’ve worked with dozens of 1:1 clients, as well as hundreds of course-takers and community members. I’ve written thousands of product descriptions, edited emails, and helped to build brands. I’ve hosted 6 weekend retreats, most of which sold out. I set up and ran a photography studio, with premises and a team of 10, downsized, and finally came directly back to coaching. I accidentally created a product range, sent out thousands of orders, and eventually sold that part of my business. And of course I also moved house three times, got married and had a baby.
Ronan was right, life is truly a rollercoaster.
What I’m celebrating
My vision: I have always had a really clear vision of what I want to create, who I want to help, and why I’m in business. It’s about empowering women to forge success on their own terms, to embrace our humanity rather than burning ourselves out, and creating meaningful, positive change in the world.
It hasn’t always been perfectly executed, and in fact I think that’s part of the beauty: I’m always tending my vision, pivoting and tweaking as I go. But I am celebrating the strength of that vision within me.
My clients: My first ever client was Laura at Clara and Macy. She has been an inspiration to me as well (I hope) as the other way around. I can still remember emailing her with my mentoring packages and receiving her response, and how much that meant to me. It certainly feels like our working relationship – and now friendship – were meant to be.
And of course I’m celebrating all the clients I’ve had since then. I’ve learnt so much from them as well as the other way around. I have clients who have been with me for 7 years, who came to my first retreat, who continue to be part of my membership group and 1:1 client list. And of course there are clients who came and went on to do different things, to grow in their own next direction, and I love seeing and knowing that, too.
My resilience: I used to hate the word resilience and its implications. That I’d had to hang on in there and deal with challenges. Now I see it as a strength, because there are always challenges. I’m grateful that I have the grit and determination to grow, learn, and work through challenges, rather than give up.
What I’m releasing
Letting go is a regular habit around here. We accumulate so many limiting beliefs, negative experiences, and to-do list clutter. So it’s always a good time to release what we don’t need!
Here are mine right now:
I’m letting go of needing to do everything myself. Okay, okay, I’m letting go of control, okay?! Kate, my wonderful VA, is doing more and more of my behind-the-scenes work, and it truly has taken me 7 years to let someone else look after my client bookings and calendar. Kate has her work cut out for her, but it’s a relief to have the details taken care of so that I can show up for my clients and community members even more.
And I’m letting go of “shoulds”. I’ve never loved the “shoulds” – those things we should do, the voices that beat us up and tell us to do things that aren’t right for us. Right now, I have a few “should haves” that have been dragging me down, so I’m releasing them and choosing differently.
And truthfully, I’m letting go of guilt. I’m a people-pleaser, and I don’t like to let people down. I know that that has happened, with staff I’ve had to let go, and clients that weren’t the right fit. I’m soooooo much better avoiding those situations these days, and grateful for everything I’ve learned about what works. So I’m learning to let go of the guilt.
My vision is strong. It’s a strength, and it’s something I love to help others with. Now, as a mother of a two year old, I’m revising the vision to allow for more space and less pressure. Compared to the now endless-seeming energy I had in the early years of my business, I need a different pace.
For me, in my business, that means fewer 1:1 clients and more resources, courses, and workshops that allow me to make a difference in group settings.
I love working 1:1 with clients, so I’ve resisted this a lot! So part of reconnecting with my vision has been to trust that I will return to it again, that there is a whole future of my business that will come to light in a few years – but I’m going to be happy in my present.
There’s no bad time to celebrate and review your business
It may not be your 7th business birthday. (But if it is, say hi!)
One thing I do know is that there’s no bad time to take a moment to check in with where you are, where you want to be, and how you want to get there.
It’s also worth celebrating your strengths, your perseverance, your achievements. We’re not taught to do that, and it really makes a difference. Celebrate something today – right now – that you’re proud of.
I’m not big on setting massive goals, but I do have intentions and visions for the coming year and years. That 10 year mark is on the horizon, and I’m excited to be in a much stronger, more sustainable place in my business.
I hope your future is looking bright, too.