Six months later and the dust has settled, and more importantly I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on what closing the company taught me, but more importantly reflect on the positives and negatives of entrepreneurship.
Owning a service-based business for more than 12 years is one of the highlights of my life, but it definitely came with a cost. Today I want to share with you 10 things I’ve learned after reflecting back on closing a “brick and mortar” business in hopes that it can give you some insight if you are amidst a big transition in your life (changing jobs, relationships, new child, etc.)
I think you learn the most when pressure is applied, and there are a few seasons in our lives that create a ton of pressure. The birth of your first child, getting let go from your first “carrier” job, just to name a few. Closing the company that I spent 15 hour days for 12 years was definitely a moment for me.
But through every challenge, there is something to learn. Here is what I’ve learned reflecting over the last six months.
It Hurts A Lot
The only reason why it hurt so much was that it was my whole world for 12 years. The people, the service, the impact were everything to me, and so it felt like I broke up with a loved one, or left a family member behind. So how did I get over this feeling of pain? I sought out friends and family to lean on. I spent more time with loved ones then I have in more than a decade, and in time the pain disappeared. It’s ok to grieve and feel pain, but it’s not ok to let it dictate the success in the next chapter in your life, by holding you back in this one. Friends and family will get you through the thick of it…if you let them.
The Power Of Choice
How fast you move on is ultimately up to you. I wanted to get started on my next business venture within four weeks of closing the company, but those closest to me saw this as a means of escaping, so instead, I sat with it, reflected and made the choice to move on versus my natural reaction to avoiding pain by staying busy. The difference? I have closure and can build upon this last chapter versus leaving a hole in my boat.
I Was The Sickest Person In The Room
In a world of fitness and health, I was on life support. As a personality trait, I will put my self last in order to serve and protect others. This included my health and fitness. I worked out and ate ok, but I wasn’t sleeping, and the stress alone was more than a somewhat “healthy” lifestyle could combat. I learned it wasn’t the activities that made the difference, ultimately it was the source that needed to be fixed…Stress
All Evils Lead To Stress
My body and mind were breaking down because I didn’t have stress management tools in place. Owning a business, having kids, even in a personal relationship, you need boundaries and tools to protect yourself from stress. Working out and eating better are not tools for managing stress. So I spent two years researching stress management tools and systems, and now I plan on teaching these tools with everyone.
Your Body Will Give You Signs, Then It Won’t
As the lack of stress management showed its ugly face, with health challenges and ever-growing anxiety, my body started to break down. Up until a year ago, I was getting sick more often than not, even with working out 5x a week. My environment was not a healthy one, and my body was sending me hints; insomnia, migraines, retaining weight, aanger like I’ve never had before. Something had to give. So in order to reset my system, I had to change my environment, create space, and this lead to the decision to close the company.
Even The Strongest Can’t Do It Alone
Given I wasn’t the best at delegating, I know ultimately the bottleneck in my company was…me. You can only go so far alone, and towards the end, I felt more alone than ever before. With so many fires in the business and my personal life, I felt like I was the only one putting them out. And I finally surcommed to the smoke. This doesn’t mean if you’re looking to start a company grab a partner, I just want to share that success is better shared with a team. A group of people you can lean on, who believe in your vision, and who are willing to put in the work to get it there. Now I plan to rebuild, starting with me.
For me, one of the hardest parts of running a business was the people that I employed. Systems, service, and offerings I can do. Managing personalities was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in business. Getting the right people in the right seats, with the right tools is in itself the business plan. Communication is key, but even more, so is learning how to hire the right people….and this takes time. Hire slow, fire fast. On the other side of the coin, having the right people in your life outside of business is just as important.
A Great Team Is Not Your Family
I traded family for a great team of employees for a decade. Going in I knew that there would be sacrifices, but ultimately looking back I don’t think this trade-off was worth it. There are better ways out there to running companies while at the same time raising a family. I’m still in search of this, but I believe I’m on the right path.
Make A Difference
Over the years I’ve worked with thousands of clients. Some more intimately than others, but all with the intent of really helping them overcome their challenges to achieve the desired goal. Be it weight loss, personal development, or in business. Six monthly later, after closing my location, the clients that I’ve worked within the past that I’ve made an Impact with…are still clients, and I’m forever grateful.
Always Be Learning
I don’t see closing the business as a failure, instead, it was an opportunity to learn and grow to better prepare me for what is next. Since moving 100% online, I’ve been studying, reading, learning to make an even bigger impact than before. In this time of learning and creating, the secret is not to rush it. I’m excited to coach people remotely and grow a community online via Facebook and Youtube, but I understand it will take time. The learning process never ends.
Each season in life you have an opportunity to learn something new. I’ve learned that I’m more comfortable working solo or with a small team. I’ve learned that spending more time with my family is the most important thing in the world. I’ve learned that taking care of my mental and physical state through stress management is my daily priority. I’ve learned that I’m ready to move from the AAA (brick and mortar) to the big leagues (online). And as long as I bring value and make and make an impact on other people’s lives, I’ll be sticking around for a while.
Thank you for being a part of this new chapter