How I stopped self-sabotaging and finally started my own business.
Alright, first of all, you should know a few things about me.
I’m Heidi and I’m a recovering perfectionist, people pleasing control freak. Growing up in a dysfunctional, alcoholic home laid a wobbly foundation and I’ve spent the better part of 20 years learning how to let go of self-sabotage.
One of the ways I self sabotaged was getting started but not finishing.
I wanted to be in business for myself for many years. But the fear of risking it all always stopped me.
How about you? You’re talented, right? You can write, or sing, or dance, or draw, or understand people in a way most others can’t?
But putting yourself out there and risking rejection or failure? No. You’d rather stay put, suffering, struggling, and settling.
We’re just not willing to be that vulnerable and take that risk.
I get it. I’ve been a life coach for many years. But I’ve always found a way to do it in a safe way.
Let me explain.
I got a job in a residential treatment facility for drugs and alcohol where I was a life coach and group facilitator. I was able to teach all of my material and hold group coaching sessions every day, but it was inside the safe structure of a steady paycheck and health insurance.
I loved that part.
What I hated was punching in and out every single day. And the fact that I had to attend pointless meeting or stick around for hours after my actual work was done just because it wasn’t “time to clock out.”
I was teaching there for about 7 years when one day, my boss walked in and told me he had to let me go.
I was getting laid off.
Now mind you, I had been seeing others get laid off for the past year. The company went from 400 employees to 150. And I was one of the few left.
And to be a life coach, earning more than most of the master level clinicians wasn’t going to cut it for much longer.
I knew my time was limited.
And so, I used the time to get ever clearer on my business. I spent my days honing my target market, refining the copy on web site I was building myself, and getting my products ready.
So, for all intents and purposes, I was ready. Except, I wasn’t.
The morning after, the fear set in.
- How will I get more clients?
- How will I find them?
- How will I support my family? (Hubby and I were working together and he was to be next)
- What if I get cancer and we don’t have health insurance?
- What if I fail?
- What if I really can’t do this?
But instead of letting the fear take over me, that very morning, I did a FB live on accepting change.
I made a video about how to move forward when you’re scared and mostly I was talking to myself.
And I got on with it.
Now, it’s a year later and we “started from the bottom now we here.”
I’ve learned a few things this year for sure. 3 of them I’m going to share now.
And If you’re about to embark on your own journey or are gearing up, I hope you find inspiration here.
- Diving timing often feels like WTF?
When I was released from that place, I didn’t feel ready.
I wasn’t confident that I was going to be able to do it. I doubted my ability to make enough money, find the clients, and get my practice off the ground.
And even though I could see the writing on the wall of what was to come, I still believed I’d be there for longer and be one of the last one’s standing.
God had other plans.
You see, ACoAs also get pride out of being the ride or die. We want to stick it out until the very end, even when it’s hurting us.
So, I wasn’t really ready.
Now, I know that most people want to wait until they feel ready.
They want to have confidence before they’re willing to take a risk. But the truth is, risk builds confidence.
And if we leap, even though we don’t feel ready, the readiness will rise up to meet us as we progress. We become more and more confident as time goes on because we’re acting in spite of our fear.
So, leap love. And don’t wait to feel ready.
- Pink clouds part and reality will scare the crap out of you.
I hadn’t heard of a pink cloud until I stared working in that treatment center I mentioned. Basically, a pink cloud is when you quit something and at first, everything is awesome!
You feel brand new! Birds are singing your praises and green grass grows beneath your wintered feet.
However, as time passes, so does the dopamine fix you got for the rush of change and reality sets in.
I think pink clouds happen when you don’t expect problems.
A lot of the times, when someone quits drinking they’re under the illusion that all of their problems will go away.
I know I was naive and I thought drinking was responsible for my relationship problems and my lack of self love.
But what I discovered was that drinking was the solution (not the problem) to my relationship issues and lack of self love.
So, once I got sober, I had to deal with the reality of what was, and the pink cloud parted.
My first few months in business, I made a few thousand dollars. Then a few months later, I had made more than triple my old salary.
Holy shit! I got this! I AM KILLING THE GAME! Crushing it kid! Yesss!
Then, my husband got laid off and all of the bills and responsibility came on me.
And I started to feel like it was too much responsibility.
That’s the funny thing about being an ACoA. We vacillate between being overly responsible and being super irresponsible.
I wanted to be responsible for the things I knew I had control over. The other stuff, if I’m honest, I wanted to be rescued from.
Christmas time came and I made next to nothing in my business. I started to panic.And I wondered if I’d made a mistake.
On indeed, there was a seemingly awesome position for a corporate trainer. That was what I did when I first started out. And I could do that gig with my eyes closed.
Not because I wanted the job, it was on a cruise ship for God’s sake. I did it so when they offered it to me, I could feel in control of my life again and in my ability to make money. And when I turned it down because I was in no position to set sail, I could still feel good about choosing to be in my business even thought I had no idea if I’d be able to pay the mortgage.
Here’s what I know. I didn’t give up.
Even when I thought I might be hurting my family. I stayed true to the vision I held for my life. Why? Because my ultimate vision for my life allows me to be the mom and wife I really want to be.
My business frees my time and allows me to be in charge of myself.
There will be moments in your business when you wonder what the F you were thinking. Hang in.
I made my way back up to being able to provide.
And since then, I’ve surpassed my old annual salary.
Next year, I plan to double it. And the cool thing is; now I know how. But, knowing how isn’t enough. You need to know why you want it.
- If you know why you want it, nothing can stop you.
When it gets hard and the money doesn’t flow. Or when you get stretched in a million directions, you’re so tired, you pull a Jessie Spano and buy some caffeine pills you’ll flush later, know this: What will get you through all of that is your focus on why you’re doing it.
When I look at my daughter Ellovie, I think how lucky I am.
I remember when I was terrified about becoming a mom. I was so afraid that I’d fuck her up somehow. I didn’t want to be responsible for her emotional well being. I didn’t have good role model when I was younger and I didn’t know if I’d end up repeating what was done to me.
Would I lose my shit one day and hit her? What if I hurt her? What if I said something that scarred her for life?
Now that I know I’m a good enough mom to have the basics covered, I wonder about a higher quality problem.
I wonder how I can set an example of a woman who knows her worth.
How will I demonstrate the possibility of following dreams? How will I show her courage and perseverance?
And beyond my daughter, my why is YOU.
I am so friggin’ grateful that each and every day I get to work with women who are smart yet wonder why they keep self –sabotaging. I get to help them have the breakthrough they need to claim their value. They stop settling. They stop people pleasing and they decide it’s their turn to have the life they really want.
If that’s you, let me come along side of you too.
I was born to help you.