My Top 5 Lessons In Owning a Business So Far…

It’s been 9 full months since I took over as owner of Smiling Dog Yoga, the sweetest little yoga space in SLO town. I don’t write much about what it’s really like to run the studio from my perspective of straight-laced cubicle dweller gone yogi-entrepreneur renegade.  Today I’m in a squirrel-y mood.
feeling squirrely
Last week I let the stress get to me. And that’s what it really is isn’t it? It’s a choice that we often forget we have. As I was crumbling under it, losing sleep, unable to relax, I thought about all of my adult jobs and how they all came with their own version of debilitating, relentless stress. In my version of the corporate-america I was stressed because I was bored and didn’t respect anyone around me or what the business was doing. During my waitress stint I was stressed because of my social life and relationships. In grad school I was stressed because I didn’t love what I was studying and I was teaching apathetic kids. I could go on.

It made me think about the other a-ha life lessons owning my own business has taught me. An opportunity for a top 5 list perhaps? I cannot resist. I love John Cusak and High Fidelity!  These aren’t in specific order but these are some of my major lessons so far in owning my own business.  Something I’m so excited to have the opportunity to do, but I REALLY didn’t see this in my future when I was a 22 year old telling my first job interviewer, “I just want a job that will pay me, that I can work for 40 years, get a pension, and spend my spare time on yoga.”  Aw, I was cute back then wasn’t I?

  1. Be ready to face your biggest, darkest fears. The fears surrounding money and rejection can be fierce.  Money is supposed to be a tool to help with the exchange of goods, time, services.  I’ve noticed in myself and others around me how subtle and powerful fears surrounding money and rejection are.  Anything that comes from fear isn’t going to work, right?
  2. Step away from the line of fire.  I think it’s super important to step away from our main role in life and just decompress without expectation or being productive.  Western culture teaches us how productive we need to be, but what do we really need to put out there to be productive, functioning adults?  We need rest as much as we need productivity.
  3. Stop resisting what is.  Focus on what you CAN do and what your ultimate mission is.  Instead of focusing on what you don’t like, or what’s not happening.  So what if your business/project/relationship fails?  That just means that it’s had it’s time and what else can you do or offer the world that will serve people that you can enjoy and feel good about?
  4. Your career or business doesn’t define who you are.  I know I’ve thought this before but I have to remind myself time and time again.  I take a lot of pride in my work and always have.  When it doesn’t go how I expect it should, I get negative.  Why?  I am more than this one job, this one role.  Yes, it often feels heavy and important and I care a lot, but the good stuff does!
  5. Find ways to deal with stress.  Or it will haunt you.  It’ll sneak out in little ways in which you’ll snap at your loved ones, won’t sleep, dream about it, eat poorly, overall you’ll just be “bajigity”.

Owning my own business has been a wild roller coaster so far.  It constantly challenges me and helps me face my biggest fears and grow and learn.  For that, I’m so grateful.  Hopefully the next time I have a mini breakdown I’ll remember this list.

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2 Responses to My Top 5 Lessons In Owning a Business So Far…

  1. James Leath says:

    I particularly love #2. There is so much pressure to grow and learn and produce and…sometimes I just want to sit down and be a bum for a few hours. The joy of “not doing” is so underrated. Thanks for your candor.

  2. Kristin says:

    I don’t know what the “books” say but I think you’re doing great, my friend. You are also brave for sharing all this. I also love John Cusak and High fidelity (and Jack Black). Thank you. : )

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