If you’re ploughing through a never-ending to-do list, are continually looking to improve yourself but despite this you’re feeling stressed and frustrated that you’re not getting ahead as fast as you’d like, this episode is for you. I share what started my journey to go from being a “human doing” to more of a “human being” and how I’m learning to value space in my business and life.
Click HERE to access Laura’s business coaching services
Click HERE to work with Fiona Lukeis and learn about The Three Principles
Podcast: Play In New Window
If you’d looked at my business two years ago you no doubt would have believed that I was a roaring success.
- I’d successfully sold my first e-commerce business Sustainababy, a business I’d grown from just an idea to a six-figure brand
- I had a successful e-course Home Detox Boot Camp and had guided hundreds of women around the world to break up with toxins in their home
- I had a top-rating sustainability podcast, Eco Chat, with listeners tuning in each week from all around the world
- My sustainability membership, Self Sufficiency in the Suburbs had 300 members and was on track to provide regular, recurring revenue in my business
- I ran a coaching mastermind and was helping more and more conscious business builders to package their experience and knowledge into offerings that were helping them to move away from 1:1 services, work less, earn more and make a bigger impact. In fact, my business coaching was out-earning my sustainability offerings, despite me giving coaching just a fraction of my time.
- And then I was chosen, alongside 80 other scientists to realise my life dream and travel to Antarctica. This dream had a $30K+ price tag and I managed to crowdfund $22K of the bill to secure my ship berth.
- I did all this while working from home in a small, isolated town and being primary care giver to our two boys, the youngest who was still a pre-schooler and who was home with me three weekdays a week.
On paper I had it all, and I did.
But in my mind I didn’t. I didn’t feel successful at all.
In my mind I was scared. And I was far from being happy and content.
I’d always been a doer and was wired to achieve. In fact, I got a high from achieving! There was nothing I couldn’t do or figure out. And once I achieved what I set out to achieve, I immediately set my focus on the next big goal.
I was addicted to achievement and being busy and yet, I was exhausted from years of push, push, pushing in my business, and the years of pushing in my corporate career prior to business.
From the moment I created Sustainababy in 2009, I worked whenever there was space. Initially that was whenever my first baby Matthew napped. It might only have been 45 minutes a day but I did not waste one minute of that 45 minutes!
After six years of working in nap time and late in the evenings around two babies, I sold Sustainababy, not because I didn’t enjoy the business, but because I wanted to pivot my business in another direction and focus on growing my sustainable living e-courses. But if I’m honest with myself, I was also exhausted and didn’t have the time or energy to take Sustainababy to the next level.
But did I rest after the sale went through?
In January 2016 after the sale, I immediately rolled into a big launch for my Home Detox Boot Camp. I didn’t even take a month, let alone a week or even a day off!
Likewise 18 months later, after I got my $22K Antarctica crowdfunding fundraising campaign over the line, the most intense few weeks EVER in my business, I rolled straight into creating and launching an e-course to teach others how to crowdfund. I did it from a place of fear and desperation. The crowdfunding funds were going directly to pay my ship berth for Homeward Bound, and there was nothing remaining for my business or family. I was working to pay for my berth to go to Antarctica and cover my business overheads. There was nothing left for my family and I was worried about sinking my family in the process. So not surprisingly, potential clients sniffed my desperation and that course launched to crickets. It tanked.
And then I tanked.
It was around about this time, in mid 2017, that I was working with a friend of mine, relationship therapist Fiona Lukeis, to improve my marriage.
Cracks had appeared after years of putting the children and business first. My husband was worried about my declining health, and I was conscious that we were working so hard to build our dream sustainable home in the suburbs of Adelaide, that the risk was we’d have a home and no marriage.
Working with Fiona helped me to quickly see that I was contributing to my reality. And I needed to take things off my plate, quickly.
Now, Fiona is going to join us on the next episode of Conscious Business Builders to explain the Three Principles and the value of space, but I wanted to share some of my experiences with you prior to then as background.
When you’re feeling the pressure of family finances, a house build, and a looming trip to Antarctica, it seems counterintuitive to step back and do less. But that’s exactly what I needed to do.
I stopped business coaching, as I just felt I wasn’t in the best place to guide my clients to go for their dreams. I started working with a naturopath to heal my gut, reclaim my health and get on top of my Hashimotos. And I stopped live launches of my sustainable living courses.
I basically hit pause on my business to focus more on myself, my marriage and my family.
I created space.
Sure revenue dropped, but in that space I started to tap into my inner wisdom and let it guide me. And some amazing things started to happen.
Bayside City Council in Melbourne reached out to me to partner with my Self Sufficiency in the Suburbs program. Roxby Council in South Australia followed shortly afterwards. And that was enough to take the pressure off.
I then took 3 months off the business to move my family to Adelaide, travel to Antarctica and settle into my new home city.
Unfortunately our personal financial situation took a turn for the worse when our house build ran six months over, but rather than throw myself back into a round of live launches in my business, I took the opportunity to accept a part time consulting position as an environmental engineer.
This position gave me space to step back from my business, without the financial pressure, and ask myself what I really want to do now. While cycling in and out of the city on my three working days I had the space to think about how I could work smarter, not harder, yet still make the impact I wanted to make in the sustainability and conscious business fields.
I’ve learnt many lessons while working with Fiona and having her help me see my thoughts from a different perspective. From my increased understanding of the Three Principles and human experience, Fiona has guided me to not engage with, or believe, all my thoughts, and to instead tune into my feeling and sense of wellbeing and identify when I’m in a low mood and when the quality of my thinking is poor. I now recognise when I’m in that space and defer making any decisions from there, where previously I would have propelled full steam ahead!
I’ve learnt to recognise when my mind is getting busy and I’m feeling of sense of urgency. Rather than seeing this as a green flag to go for it, I wait until my mind calms down. I then take another look at my idea and not surprisingly, see it with greater wisdom and can make my decision to proceed or not from a feeling of calm, not fear.
Am I there yet?
There’s times when I forget, but then I get the joy of remembering!
In fact, just this last month I caught myself getting feelings of urgency and getting myself in a flap.
For the first time in two years I felt ready to run a group coaching program. I’m currently creating content for my first ever Packaging Your Expertise Bootcamp, that I’m running for consultant members of The Xfactor Collective.
I’d build the sales pages and wrote the sales copy and then handed it over to the Collective to promote. The rest was out of my control. But given there was 8 weeks between me creating the sales pages, and the program starting, I started to think of how I could fill the space.
I decided that I’d run a Beta test of the Packaging Your Knowledge Bootcamp to my following and run a spring LIVE launch of Home Detox Boot Camp, complete with live webinars. All on top of preparing material for the Packaging Your Knowledge Bootcamp and preparing to travel to Melbourne to run a LIVE Spring Eco Cleaning workshop for Bayside City Council.
Who was I kidding?
Lucky I saw my urgency for what it was, fear. And I decided to not make a decision and just wait until the feeling passed.
I got a little more comfortable with being in the uncomfortable.
And do you know what happened? As soon as I decided not to run a LIVE Home Detox Boot Camp Launch and not to run a beta test of the Packaging Your Knowledge Bootcamp, the sales for my group coaching started to flow in.
The pressure was off.
But the better news was that I wasn’t run off my feet. I could easily manage my workload and my current load of coaching clients and podcast content creation.
It was yet another lesson for me in the value of appreciating space in business.
So, how about you?
How can you create some space in your business and your life?
Perhaps, like me, you can take a break from the learning – the online courses, the striving, striving, striving to fix yourself and be a better version of you. You have more wisdom inside you than you give yourself credit for. This wisdom is your guide. Tapping into this wisdom and making decisions from a place of good feeling, rather than intellect alone, will ensure you’re in alignment with your work.
Perhaps, rather than having a super long TO DO list, you can aim to complete one, two or maximum three key actions every day. Leave some room for just being.
And perhaps like me, you can start to be more of a human being, not a human doing. You too can learn to notice the space.
The space between your thoughts, between each breath, between every step you take. Not surprisingly, the more you notice space, the more you can see that it’s everywhere.
Noticing space makes for a richer, more intimate, more connected experience and leaves the door open for a little magic to happen. Noticing space allows for you to make better decisions and to nurture yourself along the way.
And having space enables you to look back and appreciate how far you’ve come and celebrate your achievements, however small.
While I still don’t have this totally figured out and I slip back into old habits every now and then, I’m getting better at noticing space and being calmer in my business, marriage, parenting and life.
And you know what?
I’m making decisions from that calm place of wisdom and my business revenue is starting to rise again as a result.
Over To You!
Do you value space in your business or do you look to fill it with actions in an attempt to keep striving, striving and striving?
Share any AHA’s below!
If you’re ready for personalised support to help you grow your business from a place of calm by packaging your knowledge and expertise into leveraged offerings, book your Conscious Coaching Taster or apply to join my Conscious Business Circle today!
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- CBB 25: How Jess Donovan Built a Membership Helping Mamas Raise Healthy Kids - February 10, 2020