I struggled with whether or not to write this post.
In my heart, I knew I should. I have an important message to share. In my head, I had concerns. What would people think, particularly my clients or prospective clients?
In the end, my heart won. I’m in a place in my life where I’m experiencing great change, change I know will make my next 50 years much more peaceful and fulfilling than the last 50. Not that I regret a day of the last 50 years, but I’ve grown so much this year that I can’t imagine living another day in my old mindset. I feel compelled to share what I’ve learned with others so they too can benefit (that’s the main reason I’m writing my book, too).
So here goes…
As you may know, for the past six months I’ve been researching and writing my latest book, Breaking The Spell. What you may not know is that I’ve basically been on sabbatical from my business during that time. I made a choice to stop marketing my services and pursuing clients so I could focus on my book. It felt right, albeit a little bit scary. I’ve always made a good living. In fact, for as long as I can remember I’ve earned more than my husband. And, as I’ve learned in the process of writing my book, my self-worth has been tightly connected to my level of success and the amount of money I make (money for me has been a form of measurement).
I’m guessing you can imagine what happens when you stop marketing, and more importantly, when you make a decision you don’t want any new clients. Not surprisingly, you stop getting clients and the money flow stops.
As a result, my business income has all but dried up.
One of my biggest fears has manifested. And you know what? It’s okay. The world didn’t end. I’m not homeless, and am not anywhere near becoming homeless. I don’t feel like a fraud. I don’t feel unworthy. All of the fears that I had previously connected with not making a six-figure income did NOT materialize.
In fact, something else amazing has happened instead.
I feel FREE! I feel HAPPY. Happier than I’ve been in a long time. Not because I’m not making money. In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with money. I feel happier because I’m doing work I feel inspired to do and I’m not so focused on the money side of the equation. I’m just doing the work, and thoroughly enjoying it. And, from the feedback I’m receiving, I’m making an impact on others, which is something that’s very important to me.
It’s not that I’m not working.
I’m working every day, doing research and writing. And, it’s very challenging work. The difference between now, and how I’ve worked in the past, is my motivation is coming from a different place.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready to quit my business or give up trying to make money or be successful.
But at the same time, I’m no longer driven by the pursuit of money and success. Instead, I’m driven by my purpose and what makes me happy. It’s a very different place for me. I admit, there have been plenty of times over the last six months that I’ve found myself worrying about the future and I’ve had to stop myself from going back into “create a business and make money mode.” It was tempting as I saw the income start disappearing. And, I know how to do that. It’s been my “go to” mentality for years.
However, I can honestly say that’s just not my priority right now. And I feel totally at peace when I say that, and do it. That is a big switch for me!
For the first time in probably close to 30 years, I feel like I have truly broken the spell that money and success had cast on me.
I knew when I set out to write my book, Breaking The Spell, I would likely have to fully experience the process in order to finish writing the book. I can now say that I have fully experienced it. I have broken free. And, not surprisingly, just in time to finish writing the book. All the more reason to trust the Universe. The timing is always perfect!
In the last few months, plenty of ideas for where to take my business in the future have surfaced. I am just beginning to plan for, and implement some of those ideas now.
I’m also very grateful for the clients that did choose to work with me this year and for the big chunk of last year’s income that I put into my savings account. Both enabled me to continue supporting my family while taking this sabbatical. I’m also very grateful for my supportive husband who has encouraged me to “do what I need to do” and not worry about the money. He’s kept me going when I’ve felt like it might just be easier to go back to business. Of course, he knew better!
This experience has also caused me to consider more carefully what I’m spending money on. I’ve re-evaluated our family’s spending and have cut unnecessary expenses that quite frankly, I probably would have continued to mindlessly incur had I not gone through this experience. And we’re not even noticing the difference! I know going forward I will be much more mindful of my spending, regardless of how much money I’m making.
I have a very strong sense that next year is going to be amazing.
I know I’ll start earning money again, perhaps even a lot of it. But it’s no longer how I plan to keep score. I have changed and I know I will never run my business, or my life, the same way again.
For that transformation I will be eternally grateful. Making the decision to begin following inspiration a year ago is the best decision I could have made. In many ways it saved me. It’s been scary and challenging. But I have grown as a person. And I don’t plan to ever go back to my old way of being.
It’s far too peaceful and exciting here. Now my mission is to invite others to join me!