What they don't tell you about running your own business

There are things they don’t tell you about running your own business…
 
Like how it will be the most intense personal growth experience that you will ever go through.
 
Or to be prepared for the roller coaster of emotions that comes along with it.
 
Or the doubt and the fear that will arise just after you believed you have overcome a mountain only to encounter another.
 
Or how deep the learning curve will be, how much noise you will have to sift through to come back to your own wisdom, how lonely it will feel at times.
 
They don’t tell you about how normal it is to want to quit, many times over.

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How much terror and panic happen when you are staring at an empty bank account hoping and praying for the next client or money to come through so you can pay your bills.
 
Or how many ways you will find and see people telling you how to succeed, or get to 6 figures and it will be your job to sift through what is going to work for you.

What I wasn’t prepared for…

It has been 5 years since I started my journey of being a full-time entrepreneur, or what I would call "leaping into the space of creating a business around my purpose."
 
It has been the most enlightening, heartbreaking, challenging, growth inducing experience of my life.
 
I have had incredible highs, and deep lows. I have had moments from being in tears and sobbing on the floor because I had no idea how I was going to keep going or pay the bills, to sobbing at my kitchen table when I hit my first 5 figures.
 
There are days where I feel as high as a kite, confident in my voice, my work and the spaces I get to hold for my clients.
 
And there are days where I wonder how I got this far on what sometimes seems like delusion and fantasy and that I am insane to think I could pull this off.

And what this is…

My business has seen an evolution of leasing my first facility to give space to the work I did with my horses, to buying an 80-acre ranch that was the ranch of my dreams and running a full fledged retreat and accommodation facility, while growing my herd to 16 horses, running a full coaching practice and developing a training and certification program around the space I hold with the horses.
 
I have had experiences of making the most money I have ever made in my life, hitting 6 figures and feeling the success of my practice, to falling knee-deep in debt, making sometimes unwise investments and struggling to pay the bills.
 
It all happens in the same breath, sometimes confusing, sometimes rewarding, often with a combination of both.

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And here is some wisdom I have gleaned from this 5 years…

It is ok to fail, to stumble. I tell myself over and over again when I make a mistake, or a bad decision, or am unwise with my money that I am learning, and to take the lesson and apply it.

To hold compassion and forgiveness as high on the list of spaces to hold for self, because you will need it. We forget at times that we are human, that we are messy, that our version of success or “making” it often isn’t pretty and includes what we think is more sideways and up and downs than forward.

To celebrate the successes you have. If you are anything like me, I give myself about a millisecond to celebrate anything and then I put my vision back to the next step of growth, never really relaxing or acknowledging the success or milestones I have created.
 
Surround yourself with people that will empower and lift you up because you will need them. It can be a lonely and, at times, consuming running your own business. Having a community of people that celebrate and empower your journey and remind you of your awesomeness is much needed.
 
Create space for you to reflect, to be, to rest, to gain perspective. It is important. You are the vessel of everything. Without the space for yourself, you will enter burnout and lose sight of why you began what you did in the first place.
 
Have a ritual. Ritual has become a non-negotiable for me, a piece of self-care that without it, I would lose myself to my anxiety and fear. Meditation, journalling, time in nature, exercise... it is important to find that space and time for us to have a container held for us as we create big things in the world.
 
Lighten up! We are our worst critics. We have a harsh and sometimes unreasonable expectations on ourselves of where we need to be and how far along and the guilt or shame we can feel if we are not where we think we have to be. Trust, don’t be so serious or harsh on yourself. It is detrimental to both your growth and the achievement of what you are working towards.

Do the work. And by work I mean the inner work. We can’t create something if we are knee deep in fear and doubt all the time. The most work I do in my days is on myself, my inner world, my beliefs, mindfulness and not losing myself in a pool of insecurity and fears because that kills inspiration and action fast. When we feel in tune with ourselves, when we feel open and allowing, confident and clear, we are much more able to show up, be creative, put ourselves out there because we are feeling and leading from a different place internally.
 
Get a mentor. If there is anything I would change in my life as an entrepreneur and business owner it would be that I would have gotten the right mentor sooner in my journey, and someone that aligned with my values and how I held integrity, that could remind me of my strengths, empower me in my pathway to success and get me beyond my place of paralysis. Having mentors and coaches has saved me many times over in my journey.

Be responsible with your money. This is a big one I am still learning and practicing. When I first started I knew nothing about being responsible in a big way for my finances. I had no idea how to do financial reports or business plans. I avoided my bank account like a plague. I was terrified because the money was going out faster than it was coming in, which ended up in really creating some unnecessary debt and stress. These days I look at how I treat and hold my money with the same integrity and care as anything else. Look at your finances and how you hold it as a key to creating greater abundance. If you don’t know how to track or navigate your way through your finances, ask someone to help you. It is important aspect to running our business.
 
Trust your intuition above all else! Your intuition is wise, it holds answers, it will never steer you wrong. Don’t discount it or override it or ignore it. It is not always an easy or tangible thing for our logical mind to wrap its head around but intuition never lies.
 
Be authentic. Your authenticity is your greatest asset. You don’t need anything other than that. Staying true to you and your voice will always be an important key to holding a pathway that will align and create the success you are seeking.
 
Stay out of comparison and seek out the spaces that feel good. There can be a lot of noise in the online world and in the offline world and it is so easy for us to get dragged under by other people’s stories or shares about what we should do, or how we should show up, or what they have done in how long, that it fuels our own insecurities about our journey. Something I practice: if the space feels good, if I feel aligned and empowered in a community, I stay. If it leaves me feeling anxious or uncomfortable, or just doesn’t feel good, I don’t stay. Good boundaries for yourself around where you spend your time is important.
 
Listen to the advice but always stay within your own wisdom. I am always open for advice and wisdom when it comes to growing and sustaining my business and one thing that I always come back to is take in the stuff that resonates and leave the rest. I try to listen to my own wisdom when paving my way forward while taking in pieces that resonate with how I operate and create in the world. Use discernment, seek out sage wisdom but also let yourself feel into what feels right and true for you.

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And here is a truth for you…

Some of you have watched my journey and some of you may be new to me.
 
The truth is no matter what degree of success we think we see in someone or ourselves, it is still a journey we have to go on internally everyday.
 
There is still growth that happens that never stops, mistakes that can be made, even though we think we should know better.
 
There are still times where the insecurity and doubt get the best of us, where we consider walking away or quitting. This still happens to me even if there is no reason to be this way.
 
Question everything, what you believe to be certain, where you hold a rigid perception about yourself and your journey and find what I like to call anchors that are going to bring you back to yourself.
 
Your business is an expression of you. It is a vehicle for transformation and growth as much as it is about being something we step into to support our dreams and our desires for our life.
 
It is bigger than you and it is also ever changing and morphing so try not to take it too seriously.

What I wasn’t prepared for…

...was this: the growth that comes along with having your own business, the tears, the rewards, the tough nights, the highs, and most importantly, the most intense place of self-discovery I have ever known.
 
But you know what?
 
When I have moments where I can stop for a moment and take it in… Look out into my field and see my horses, witness my own impact…
 
I can truly and authentically say…
 
No matter how many tears and blood and sweat I have felt on this pathway..
 
It has all been worth it.

 
So if you find yourself struggling with something, beating yourself for not having gotten it yet, or having one of those moments of wanting to throw in the towel...
 
You are not alone.
 
This too shall pass.
 
Take a breath. 

And try to focus on how far you have come, remember your strength and trust the vision that lead you here in the first place.

Love,
A fellow purpose holder and entrepreneur,
Hillary

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P.S. In my journey of being an entrepreneur, I have discovered that one of the most important pieces we can hold for ourselves is the clarity and the unbridled sense of our purpose, our message and our ability to hold a space of mastery for ourselves.
 
Over the years I have held space for other purpose-driven, brilliant women that are ready to step into their purpose in a way that feels deeply aligned to the core of who they are.
 
It is a space of mastery, of us giving permission to the unbridled essence of ourselves, our purpose and our medicine and having the courage to create space for it in the world.
 
If you are looking for a space to be held for you to claim more deeply your vision of success and the courage to show up as the leader and light-worker that you are in the world, I would love to introduce you to my new container Unbridled Mastery.
 
A 6-month journey that supports and empowers you in the clarity of your purpose, authentic message and voice in your mission and navigating through holding your business with greater success and clarity without the loss of heart and alignment of how you create in the world.
 
You can learn more about that here...

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