I Just Quit the Business I Worked So Hard to Build, and Here’s What I Learned
For the last 18 months, I have been suffering. My anguish was not of the mental health or physical ailment varieties. My suffering stemmed from within: I was holding tightly onto a deep-rooted expectation.
Expectations are tricky. They are birthed from a place of limitation and fear. This particular expectation was planted as a small seed of desire: a desire to be an entrepreneur, a desire to have financial freedom, and a desire to share the all out, game-changing wonder that is the practice of meditation.
The beginning of my entrepreneurial journey
After completing my meditation teacher training a year ago, I hunkered down in front of my laptop, set up a website, and created probably the most comprehensive course in utilizing meditation ever. I was making my dream happen, and unleashing my newfound knowledge unto this world, no holds bar. But nobody bought it.
A few unsuccessful months passed and I found myself latched onto that one particular seed that birthed forth a year of resistance, energetic blockades, and some financial loss.
I needed to be a coach. If I were a coach, then I would be official. I could be the next Gabby Bernstein! “Look,” I said to myself, “at all the other coaches who are raking it in, leading magical retreats in exotic locales, and reaching thousands through webinars and live streaming!”
This. This was my calling.
The desires that I had: To share and teach meditation, create financial freedom, and start my own business were obliterated by the expectation I set for myself one year ago. I became my desires’ slave, as it spread through my neuropathways like a foreign vine invading a native plant species.
I told myself many lies: “A business takes time to grow.” “Surely a paying client will soon come along!” “I still have to put in my dues.” It is worth mentioning that I did not enter into entrepreneurship with stars in my eyes, but rather to emulate the success of other coaches surely put them there.
Watching so many others succeed—and quickly, I might add—where I wasn’t, perplexed me. By August, I had refined my course into complete video-based learning, and by October, I produced an amazing, five-week spiritual coaching program, with a beautiful sales page to boot.
I paid for advertising, had too many freebies, started a Facebook group, and promoted my business whenever I could. I even had a friend who works in marketing review my ads and copy.
What I could I have been doing wrong? Absolutely nothing.
An inkling occurred to me sometime between refining my course and developing my coaching program: I didn’t really like the title of coach. I wrestled with it anyway, chalking it up to my ego being resistant.
I didn’t quite like the title of teacher either. For some reason, these titles weren’t resonating with me, but I kept on sticking them next to my name, regardless of my true feelings.
Throughout all of this my momentum would build and slowly die, and I never truly accomplished what I set out to do. I set up my expectation early: go hard or go home. I absolutely must make this business work. This path was my only path to success.
The expectations I created only did one thing: they stuck me in a box, where my ego curled up and hid. All the while, that same ego kept on beating the dead horse: Must continue. Must make millionaire coaching practice. Must achieve success. Where had my dream gone?
Suddenly, this momentum roller coaster I was on came to a screeching halt. I had worked with a single paid client, and there were absolutely none on the horizon. I found myself with no extra money to spend on virtually anything in my business, and really no will to continue. I felt as though I was on stage, speaking to an empty auditorium.
I looked at the reality of the situation. I love guiding and teaching meditation. I love the process of creating and design visuals, graphics, and website. I love writing copy and all the other aspects that go into a business. But I didn’t love being a coach.
I was not a coach, I never was and never will be. My ego tried to convince me that I was, so that I would continue to force my desires into reality. After all the energy, work, money, and time I had put in, how could I simply give it up?
Well, I wasn’t giving anything up, except the things that no longer served me. I didn’t like bouncing from idea to idea to make something work that obviously wasn’t. I didn’t like forcing myself to be a coach when I knew I wasn’t. I didn’t like that after a year and a half in business that I was unhappy, broke, and expelling energy on everything that didn’t work.
A life-changing epiphany
That’s when epiphany struck my brain, like lightning in a bottle. Why continue banging my head against the wall, day in and day out, forcing and manipulating my desires into existence? After all that I have studied, learned, and practiced, I knew that I wasn’t being truthful to myself. I was not expressing or living my authentic truth.
So I quit. With every fiber of my being—and against all tantruming by my ego—I let go of the things that weren’t serving me: I am not a coach, and I won’t ever be. I just wanted to teach meditation, man.
Once I jumped, I felt freer than ever before. I felt as though I was physically shedding a decaying skin, that had been battered and bruised by my own ego. I felt lighter than air.
In hindsight, I realized that the whole problem had not only been the fact that I never jived with the coach title, it was also that I held onto the particular belief that coaching was the only way to be successful. This clincher created bountiful resistance and unending roadblocks. I was solely responsible for my success, and the reality I created, but my resistance defeated me every single time.
Now, I happily teach meditation only in aspects that I truly enjoy, and help entrepreneurs build the websites of their dreams. I now know to ask my spirit first, “Does this unleash both my joy and my truth?” Because we should never settle for anything less than what makes us feel 10,000% alive.