This story is part of a movement – the Busting The Overnight Success Myth: Community Blog Tour, where 21 incredible women who have made their dream business a reality (in a variety of different niches) share what it really took for us to make this happen. Including the not so pretty stuff.
When my friend, Allison Braun, shared her vision for this blog tour with me, I knew I had to be a part of it because it pains me to see so many spiritual and smart souls struggle, thinking they are missing the secrets to becoming a success.
So here is my journey to becoming a Spiritual Life & Business Coach, and coach trainer. It’s RAW, REAL, and includes some things I’ve never shared before with useful tips you can use right away.
My journey starts out with never feeling like I fit into any “box”.
I’ve never been the star employee, student, or a person who follows what everyone else does. And when I did, a part of me died inside – it was a constant painful state for years. Going for my dream began in New York City in the early 90’s, where I loved fashion and everything about it.
I hustled, conformed and did whatever I could to make my dreams happen. I worked retail, did window’s at ABC Carpet & Home and never told anyone I never graduated from college because I felt a lot of shame about it. (This haunted me for years…)
For years, I felt like I was running out of time and had to get into the workforce fast and used whatever I could to land anything that would be creative so I could be challenged.
I went from window dressing to becoming a fashion editor to a stylist, and in between I would take any j-o-b that would pay the bills. I worked any angle, like a hustler, and made it all the way to Prada because I dressed the part and took a $15,000 pay-cut to my peers.
I did not fit in. I even made up that I had a summer home which was my Aunt & Uncle’s home outside New Jersey to look cool. I conformed and became someone else to make it work. I had fake friends who could not care less about me.
Every day a bit of my soul died.
When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis I thought I failed big time because I had to leave the fashion world. If anyone found out, I’d kill myself.
It was my wake up call and my ticket to waking up my soul’s true calling. And this is what started a loooong journey to release all the past programming, behavior, and the need to be seen.
What no one tells you in business & what I learned: Being someone other than your true self is not the way to success. Yes, it was what I had to go through to be where I am today. Now, I have a filter to check in with, to keep me on my soul’s path.
Fast forward to 2002 where I took a big frickin’ leap of faith.
After practicing yoga for about 4 years, I was observing my yoga teacher doing an introduction to yoga when my heart cracked wide open. I knew I HAD to do this. I wanted to help others find their true selves, the way yoga did for me, and it had to be through teaching yoga.
At the time I was also taking acting classes (never told anyone about this), collecting unemployment, and taking any odd job like handing out food samples on the corner of 57th street so I could make ends meet.
The crazy part was, I was selling my Prada and other designer clothes to a resale shop so I could eat, and had no idea what I was doing with my life. I was lost, afraid and crying all the time. Basically, my closest friends were my self help books – Louise Hay was my BFF.
One day at a trade show I was working at, I was approached by a friend who wanted me to do PR for him. My BIG FAT NO became a maybe and then a yes – but it had to be on my own terms.
I knew I wanted to teach yoga and knew somehow this may help me make it happen. But I was scared to meet with him and ask for what I wanted, because I never thought he’d go for it and did it anyway. I felt a ton of guilt in my chest to sell out on my dream but knew I had to do this.
This is what I asked for… A 4-day work week and told them I would get them the kind of PR they wanted. I presented my salary and had no idea what would happen. Keep in mind, I already had a foot out the door for a yoga teacher training in LA, and they had no idea.
They came back with a YES! I was praying daily I’d be able to deliver, and took the job knowing I’d be leaving in a few months to LA for the yoga teacher training. When it was time to leave NYC, I already landed some great coverage, and they agreed to my going to LA as long as I could continue to deliver. A bit of pressure, right?
It was pretty stressful at times but it worked out. I moved to LA, was living in both worlds and will admit, most of the time I felt conflicted. Taking this job was the loan for my dream to become a yoga teacher. It was the ticket.
I never quit, I held onto this job as long as I could, a couple of years in I was let go and had to make it as a yoga teacher. With grace and hustle I made it work and built up some debt along the way to make it work.
What no one tells you in business & what I learned: It’s not selling out to have a job or something you do while you build your business or go for your dream – it’s necessary.
The bubble popped, and in 2009 I was not feeling fulfilled…
At the time I was doing really well as a yoga teacher. Had a yoga DVD, a yoga podcast, teaching around the world, and my ego was full. Yoga teachers can have pretty big egos. But something was missing…
I was more of an entrepreneur and met conflict again, not being my full self. This part was put aside as money was not spiritual. I was itching to do something and use this part of myself and also go deeper with my clients.
I wanted to coach and was not going to do a certification. I already did years of study as a yoga teacher, personal development, and was not going to do it. I found a mentor to learn from who had made a similar transition.
I wanted to change my direction fast. I was kinda over the yoga model and had no interest in doing yoga teacher trainings. I was comparing myself to others and was impatient. I hit many walls, had many failures, and worked my ass off.
I kept teaching yoga so I could grow my coaching business for about 5 years before I was only coaching. My affirmation always was never to give up.
But then 2012 came - it was the year I almost gave up.
I was stuck in wanting what others had and did not even realize it. I spent thousands of dollars (close to $10K), followed the steps of other business guru’s, and when I put it out there – no one signed up.
Once again, I was not authentic to myself. I wanted what other people had and was ignoring my unique gifts.
I did what I always did, hustled, used effort, and almost burned myself out to make it work. This was the hardest year and I grew the most, too. I fell on my face in private and was beating myself up.
At the end of the year I took an inventory and realized I could not keep going this way. I also realized I was in training to become a better person, coach, and business owner. I had so much to learn as a person and business owner, and it was time to change how I was doing me.
What no one tells you in business & what I learned: Wanting what others have is not a way to create a business. You can’t get the same results in your business as anyone else does because you have to grow as a person.
2013 is where it all came together in the vast space of the unknown…
Synergy was my word for the year. I did a beta test program for my coach training program The Art of Becoming a Coach at the end of 2012 and started before I was ready. I was still teaching yoga at the top of 2013, and making enough money to pay my team – some months I did not pay myself.
At the start of the year I knew I was taking my coach training program, The Art of Becoming a Coach, to the next level. I tuned out what everyone else was doing and used what I learned – did it my way and followed my intuition.
We launched in the Spring of 2013. It did not follow any one way of doing it, and to my surprise, I found my true calling where I used all my gifts, strengths, and life experience.
I no longer was teaching yoga and was fully coaching.
I no longer was looking at what other people were doing.
I no longer second guessed myself and followed my intuition.
It worked and was a looong ass journey towards success. I crossed the six figure mark in 2013 after 7 years of wanting to become a coach and have a successful online business. Today, I’m able to trust myself, tap into my own information and make mistakes while being amused by them. I’m living the life I designed and am the person I always wanted to be in my life and business.
Now, I’m able to be spiritually present in my life and business, knowing there is more to this journey. How’s that for an overnight success?
What no one tells you in business & what I learned: The unknown is rich with possibility. The more you turn off other people’s information and tap into your own, the more you will enjoy your journey and see you are already a success, no matter where you are.
The biggest lesson of all is… Every one of your mistakes are golden, they become how you grow into the woman you want to be, and each moment is a teachable moment so you can help others on their path.
Now that I’ve shared some of the lessons I’ve learned along my journey, I’m curious to know what is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in your own journey?
I want to know what you learned about success and how you found your mistakes were your way to grow into who you are today.
And if you’re just getting started, I’d love to know which of these lessons speaks the most to you. What can you pull from my story to help you in your own?
This is how we can support each other on the road to success.
Sweet Soul, if you’ve ever felt alone on your journey or like you weren’t as far as you “should” be, I invite you to check out more of these real-life stories by joining the Busting The Overnight Success Myth: Community Blog Tour. My friend and entrepreneur, Kimberly Riggins, shared her story yesterday, and Beth Katherine is up sharing her journey tomorrow.
Your Angel of Fire,