I’ve said it before: being a business owner is the wildest self-development journey of all throughout my life. If your business helps you to one thing (if you’re serious about it), it is to show up authentically as yourself. I’ve tried to do it differently, and I failed miserable.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde
Let’s face it, there are so many coaches in this world; it’s not funny anymore. They all have excellent stuff to sell. But they also look alike, do alike, and do business alike. Why? Because they’re scared to do it their way.
Below the surface, there’s fear and insecurity because it is more complicated than you think. A question I get asked (and wondered about myself as well) is:
“How come that it’s so difficult for me and not for others? How is it possible that some people seem to hit 6 figures within a short period, and I have to hustle my butt off to even pay yourself?”
Powerful lessons to learn
I use my old business a lot in my blogs to explain their situation, just because it is a night and day difference from where I am now. In that business, I had to learn a lot when I started, as everybody does. I knew I loved helping people, and I knew I had excellent coaching skills.
I didn’t go easy on myself when I started. After the initial whooo!-phase of going solo, anxiety set in when I understood that a paycheck would only come in if I did the work. So I did what I did well, and I worked my butt off. I had a few dozen returning clients, and most of them loved working with me. But over the years, I made certain decisions that resulted in having too many costs to keep the business afloat. It was an expensive lesson, but I’m still grateful for it. It may have been an expensive hobby, as the tax office labeled me, but I learned so much. Nobody will ever take that away from me because the most powerful lesson it taught me was how misalignment feels in my body.
Not wanting to show up for my business anymore
While my business went through financial shizz, a lot was going on in my private life. This is how I learned how your state affects your business. If you’re not happy or you’re mourning (as I was), your business, as a reflection of you, mourns with you.
I started to feel like a fraud and could no longer show up for my business authentically. It made me work even harder while I stuck my head in the sand pretending not to see it. It can’t be a surprise that it didn’t work. Luckily I landed a freelance job as a business consultant to build a quality management system for a health care organization. It used to be my job, and it reminded me of how much I used to love this work.
Around that time, the Universe started to throw me signals of how misaligned the weight loss business was. First, the Dutch IRS threatened to end my business (which caused me to work even harder), and two weeks later, I was sued for using copyrighted material on my website. I didn’t and still don’t understand how I could use that image because it’s all water under the bridge. I was too tired, so I paid the money and licked my wounds.
It was the last push toward burnout. I called my clients, returned any money I owed, and closed the weight-loss business.
It was utter relief. I went on to business consulting, and I noticed from the get-go that it was easier to get clients. But still, it wasn’t what I really wanted to show up for. Even without not being fully aligned, I hit the highest profit ever. It really pays off to declutter parts of your business that don’t work and make room for things that need space to grow.
Creating an authentic business
I learned from all this that your business needs to be aligned with who you are. Being so anxious about earning money in my old business blocked me from seeing and experiencing abundance when I wanted it so dearly. But most of all, I learned that I need to show up as the soul I am on a deeper level. Showing up in an authentic business starts with doing what comes naturally to you and fills your deepest needs. Besides that, you need to feel free to show your values and opinions. I learned that from my Divine Soul Blueprint. It changed everything and taught me to consciously choose joy, my soul-based desires.
In that blueprint that is part of your Akashic Record, you find your way of doing business and how you can make it more fun and joyful experience. What I tried to sell in my weight loss business was not the right match – in fact, it was totally the opposite of what I should sell, which is freedom.
Being misaligned costs a lot of energy, and since my clients often are solopreneurs, their business’s ability to create abundance is strongly influenced by their personal energy. In fact, their business is dependent on their energy. That is why they notice right away that their business suffers when they can’t or won’t show up for it.
How I try to be authentic and show up
“The more virtual our lives get, the more we hunger after something genuine. What people really want now is not just a product or a service; it’s an experience. An experience that is more honest and transparent …more authentic – and businesses are going to have to keep up with growing consumer authority and give people what they want if they want to survive.”
― Neil Patel
Neil Patel describes it well here. What we want is something real. That’s why I’ve created more copy in which I talk about how my business influenced me and how I’m creating new, more authentic strategies to create more connection and freedom.
Writing about my experience isn’t difficult for me. But don’t ask me to write a how-to blog about setting up the best Facebook ad. Please find someone else for that; it’s no fun for me.
And that people, is why it takes such a long time to build a business. Doing business is taking a step forward, falling on your face, getting up, finding out what went wrong, and tweaking the action.
I noticed how it was sucking the living daylights out of me, and so I’m here reviewing how I can make it easier for me. While some people thrive at writing fun posts, I’m looking for a way to fill my need for heart-based connection.
So if things look as if I’m not showing up consistently, then know that not everything you see on the outside reflects what is going on inside. Sometimes I need some time to come back stronger, and that‘s totally okay. People who expect consistency from me may not be my ideal person to work with.
It feels as if everybody does their utmost to show the world what they have to offer. But it is not about the service you sell; it is about connecting with you. Sometimes it’s not even about the program you have to offer, but about giving your prospects freely what you have. This way, they feel they know you. If they also like you, then that’s a foundation to buy from you. Again: it’s not your product or service a prospect wants but your energy: love, light, and truth. This can only be converted when you show up authentically.
Giving stuff that is not based on those values means converting your vital force energy. In other words, you’ll spend energy that you might instead use to heal or recover from intense client calls yourself. This way, taking energy from your energy savings account moves you in the clutches of burnout and overwhelm. Therefore, you are allowed to make things easier for yourself.
If you show up from your truth, you don’t have to constantly think about what everybody expects from you. It is exhausting to think for someone else. If you show who you are, your prospects know what to expect from you. If they have different expectations, they need to find someone else. I can tell you it’s not worth the money to deliver to expectations you can’t deliver if it leaves you with cash but without your health. Showing up like yourself may mean that you’ll lose people, but they weren’t yours from the beginning.
On the other hand, you will also attract people who sigh in relief that they’ve finally found someone like them. Your tribe will be a fun and a relatable group of people with the same quirks. They will feel nurtured by you because you understand how they tick. It all becomes so easy. This way, you’ll create ambassadors who will root for you any which way and mention your name – and that is what you want.
I hear from my clients that they struggle with feeling not good enough or feel held back by what they have to share with the world. I was there myself, and I wonder if this has to do with trying to be someone else. All your expectations of how you should be or should show up can never be filled. You are not that person, so as long as you hold on to those expectations, you’ll always feel not good enough.
What I love doing
I love writing, personal development, authenticity, spirituality, intuitive tools like tarot and oracle cards, and I just loooove the soul realignment change processes. They are all words that reflect my life journey, and I bet that there are people who are on a journey like that. My life changed when I allowed myself to write about those topics. A bit careful in the beginning, but quite outspoken lately.
I also stand for having fun in business and following what feels good. Allowing yourself to feel good about your business and to play in it is so much more fun than I used to do in my old business. You are allowed to have fun as well. If things are no longer fun, then review them to make them easier or more fun. And if that’s not possible? Dump ‘m.
I also love planning, bullet journaling, journal writing, and reflection. It’s what I consistently do and supports my self-care. As an introvert, I need to mind myself first and then think of others. This is what I teach: become free like a bird in business without all the expectations we put up with. I needed multiple burnouts to conclude that I need to follow my own compass and find my North Star.
Only this way can I do like I say. I don’t have to be afraid to be caught doing something I didn’t preach myself. It’s based on a truth my grandfather used to say. He said something like: “Say what you’ll do and do as you say.” Okay, so he said it in this beautiful dialect, and translation doesn’t give him any credit, but it all comes down to being honest with what you say and offer what you say exactly. Trust that your offer is good enough. It’s just okay.