I used to think I was bad at business. And bad with money. And disorganized. And overwhelmed. And not a real CEO. Who didn’t take my business seriously.
Truthfully, I was overwhelmed at first. And I had no idea what I was doing.
I mean, it’s a lot easier to start a PR agency when clients come over with you. I was doing the same work. I was working with the same people. It’s absolutely still founding a new business.
But it’s not quite the same as doing something totally random and new. And changing it ten times. Because I had no idea what I wanted to do. How I really want to express myself.
So I learned from experts. I read books. I invested a lot of money in business coaching courses and programs. I jumped on webinars. I envied all of those people who built this financially successful business in six months.
I emulated their moves. I followed the strategies and formulas. I did everything to a tee.
And none of it ever worked out. At least not fully. Maybe it’d be somewhat financially successful, but it was never fulfilling. Or maybe it’d be somewhat fulfilling, but it never got traction.
Sure, I’d had opportunities—great ones I could have pursued. I was offered a book deal within my first three months of business. And I’ve been asked to write for a lot of national publications. And I’ve had articles go viral. And people interested in me writing books on my relationship with Garrett (in fact, the story is inspiration for both a published fiction work and a potential play in the making).
But I stopped all of it short. I remember once NPR called to ask if I’d do an interview on a topic I’d written about. And I said, “No, I feel like I’ve said all I’m interested in saying about that. I feel complete.”
They were puzzled.
Bad business decision. Bad at business.
I told myself that I was broken. And wrong. And probably never going to be successful. Because I was bad at business.
It wasn’t until I was in maybe my third or fourth Circle—which, even then, was multiple iterations into my business—that I started to realize I’m not actually bad at business. In fact, I’m really, really good at business. It just doesn’t look like everyone else.
Being “bad at business” essentially means that we’re bad at following someone else’s rules to achieve a socially conditioned definition of success.” It’s awesome someone else was “successful” that way. And it’s so generous they’ve shared their best practices.
But it’s pretty arbitrary to think that would work for me.
I read relationship articles all the time and think, “Gosh, if I followed any of that, Garrett and I never would have made it this long.”
We also do plenty of things “relationship experts” tell us not to do. Because I know myself. I know Garrett. And I know what each of us need. Isn’t that better than a random third-party who doesn’t know us at all?
It took me an entire year of business before the Master Energies came to me. A year and a half before I ran my first Sacred Circle. Two years before my first Mastermind. Four years before the Shadow Energies came and it all started flowing together.
Right now, I am more satisfied with my career in every sense than I’ve ever been. I honestly can’t even imagine a better job situation than I have. I love my work. I love my clients. I love my team. And I get paid to do it all. Paid to do my own self-work.
I can tell you wholeheartedly that I wouldn’t have had access to this—not by a long shot—if I “quadrupled income in six months” or “skyrocketed sales within a year” or whatever arbitrary measures of success I had been internalizing.
It’s awesome that some people are building more quickly. Really, it is. But, for me, I needed to unfold into the richness of my work. I needed patience and time and devotion.
It’s why I said “no” to a lot of big opportunities. And shamed myself for it. Thinking I was “really bad at business.” When, in fact, I was really, really good. I made all the right decisions for me.
If you’ve ever had a good and healthy [literally anything], then you already know how to be “good in business” for yourself. A good relationship, good friendship, good hobby.
All of those situations require you to know 1) who you are, 2) what you have to share, 3) what you need in return, 4) what makes you feel good and happy, 5) what makes others feel good and happy.
It’s the key to my relationship with Garrett. The deeper I know myself and Garrett, the more successful our relationship becomes. Because we write the rules for ourselves.
It’s the key to my best friendships. To my favorite hobbies. To even winning at cards games.
And the cool thing is it’s subjective. It reflects back on the subject. It teaches me more about myself.
Every step I took in business, I learn a lot more about myself. It’s the greatest healing modality I’ve ever known—being a business owner. Even when it’s challenging or frustrating or less than easy.
I’ve heard hundreds of people tell me they’re “really bad at business.” There is so much conditioning around this topic. Around what a successful business needs to look like. Around how much time and money and sacrifice you need to give. Around how “you don’t believe in yourself if you aren’t cashing out your 401k (don’t even get me started on that one).
And all the while, they’re really just buying into someone else’s rules for a definition of success they may not even want. The cool thing about entrepreneurship—and life—is we’re all just figuring it out for ourselves. We get to create our own rules.
If we follow someone else’s formula, we’re creating a life that would fit them really well. But it’s a crapshoot if it’ll fit us at all. If we follow our own formula, we’re pretty much guaranteed to be successful.
So look at your friendships and relationships. What is it that makes the successful ones feel so successful? Are you Connecting? Safe? Honest? Free? Vulnerable?
Right there within that is your personalized formula for success. The thing we call Sacred Branding™ in our work. The thing that makes you good at business.
Because maybe you’re not actually “bad at business.” Maybe you’re just really bad at following someone else’s directions to somewhere you don’t want to go.
Maybe you’re waiting for your own route. For the thing that’s going to light you up. The mythical job that you never believed could exist. The one that a younger you would dream about as an impossible fantasy.
From one “bad business owner” to another, I can tell you this—that impossible job is entirely possible. You just have to break the rules first. And chart a new path.
Will you create your own rules?