Before the shutdowns from the pandemic hit in 2020, I had my heart set on a serious change in my business. I knew I needed things to change, I wasn’t feeling as happy as I used to, but wasn’t sure what I needed.
Maybe you’re familiar with that feeling- of knowing that shit CANNOT stay the same, but you’re not sure what next steps to take to make a change for yourself because you don’t actually know what the hell you want.
Slowly at first then all at once, after 4 years of non-stop action towards building my nutrition business, I crashed. Full on CRASHED. Hard.
Some call this the Entrepreneurial Seizure – and I was in full force.
I was feeling drained, exhausted, and even emotionless after reading literal paragraphs of DM’s about how many lives I had impacted + sweet messages of transformation from clients. Things I used to thrive on and be motivated and encouraged by started to feel like, “oh, another one. That’s cool”.
*Que the first of many red flags while burn out came for my damn life.
There were a shit ton of things that ultimately led to my burnout, and I’ll be sharing a podcast on the details about ALLLL of that shortly. But first, I want to share with you the very beneficial things I learned in my time away from my clients, my instagram page, my email list, and literally my entire business.
You may read through these and be like “wow, how great and wise, I love it” but let me tell you, the PAIN and tears and deep dark hole I found myself in and crawled myself out of while learning these damn lessons fucking sucked. Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart. Cheers to the journey, and onto these lessons.
1. I can’t build my dream by myself, I need a team + systems to thrive.
I don’t know about you, but when I first learned about the ability to build an online business I was god damn thrilled. It was insane to me that I could teach myself EVERYTHING I needed to know to make a 6-7 figure salary online, help a shit ton of people, and LOVE what I did in the process. like WUT, are you kidding me?! (We’re all being pitched this shit right now, tho, aren’t we?) Not that its a lie, you CAN do it!! But lets be clear..
This shit is hard. I saw this pic below 3 years into business and it made me laugh and then cry because of how true it is.
I was quickly swamped with the feeling that business endeavors were never done. And while I LOVED having control of my schedule and the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted, I also fucking sucked at scheduling and disciple.
I learned quickly that the incredible online biz folks I was looking up to actually had HUGE ASS TEAMS helping them with everything, and suddenly I felt lied to. “Wait WHAT?! They’re not doing all of this on their own?!” I felt like I was supposed to do everything on my own, hustle my ass into the ground, and magically I’d be loving life.
FALSE. I realized what a goon I was to think all of the big ass dreams and goals I had could be accomplished by me alone. NOPE. This is where sustainabiliy and longevity come into play.
2. Sustainability + longevity are more important than being relevant.
Whew this was a hard one to learn. No one likes to feel held back and told, “just be patient”. But that’s exactly what I’m telling you here and what I’ve learned and wish I knew when I first started. Business is a slow game 9/10 times- but everything around us has our brains primed for immediate gratification and constant expectation of quick feedback.
This is why people like Chamath Palihapitiya and other super successful biz folks don’t spend time on social media- because business and life is all about sustainability + longevity and slowly chipping away at the things that matter to you most without too much distraction. All present-day media we’re exposed to is SO incredibly fast from posting to response, it fucks with our expectations for growth + timeline to success.
I learned quickly that GOOD business isn’t sexy. It isn’t about your instagram likes, or how cool people think you are. It’s about your impact on other people and how you’re solving a problem the world needs.
It’s consistent, high quality + helpful information/products distilled to your ideal clients every damn day for years on end until something clicks. And THEN- just when you think you’ve “made it” somehow, there’s more runway- always. This is the game of business, and if that continuous, uncomfortable growth doesn’t excite you then entrepreneurship probably isn’t for you.
So buckle up, get cozy, and get your 10 year goggles on if you’re serious about your business and entrepreneurship because patience will take you further faster.
3. Knowing deeply what your “Why” is will lead you through the hardest biz seasons, so take ample time to figure it out.
Fuck this one REALLY sucked to learn- maybe the WORST one to learn.
My WHY going into my nutrition business was “I have an overwhelming love for empowering others to accomplish the dreams and passions they wish to pursue in their own lives, by their own standards. I strongly believe that health is a human right and is necessary for prosperity in all areas of the world”. Sounds pretty fucking great, huh? I wrote that for a scholarship application when I was 20 years old to go to Bangladesh that I ultimately ended up receiving in college. So thats cool! But it’s also pretty outward-focused.
This “why” seemed so grounded, sounded so good, made so much sense, and made me feel something- but it all was smashed to fucking pieces in 2019 because this “why” has nothing to do with me or my life. Sounds selfish right? NEWSFLASH- your “why” should be selfish to an extent, and I didn’t know that. I never asked myself deeply what I REALLY wanted out of my business- until I had to.
Since my initial “why” had no piece of myself in it- when I drained my soul into my business and was constantly emptying my cup for others- I realized my business didn’t serve ME- the damn human who was running the whole thing. As the saying goes.. “you cant pour from an empty cup”. So when I burned out, my “why” that was focused on everyone else also burned out. I started to not care about everyone else. I needed to care about me, take care of me.
I listened to a podcast about how to determine your why – and here’s the secret sauce:
Ask yourself WHY seven times until you reach the final heart-filled reason you’ve chosen the path you’re on.
An example of this process might look like:
- “I want to help people” – WHY do you want to help people?
- “Because I want to make a difference in the world” – WHY do you want to make a difference in the world?
- “Because I like how it feels when I’m doing good things + helping others” – WHY does it feel good to do good?
- “Because I didn’t always feel good” – WHY didn’t you always feel good?
- “Because I had an illness that diminished my quality of life and I dont want anyone else to deal with that kind of pain” WHY don’t you want anyone else to deal with that kind of pain?
- “Because it made me feel helpless” – WHY did it make you feel helpless?
- ***Because I felt out of control and I want to be as in control of my life so that I can live out my dreams as fully as possible and not be held back***
I thought I wanted to help people live fully + take charge of their own lives, which is still absolutely true, but when I kept asking “why” I realized I actually wanted freedom + control of my own life. I wanted freedom to make as much money as I wanted to, to work wherever and whenever I wanted to, I dreamt and still dream of being a mother who has a career she loves but also has ample time to raise children and is energized by both. My “why” now carries me through even the shittiest seasons of business because it has something to do with me and my desires, and I’m so grateful for that.
If your why doesn’t give you a strong connection back to yourself and your dreams on a very deep level – it will die. It can’t and shouldn’t be about everyone else.
4. Understanding my hardwiring + personality type changed everything in my biz.
FUCK I WISH SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TOLD ME THIS. I didn’t know much about myself on a SUPER DUPER deep level before starting my biz, but trust me- entrepreneurship will pull your shit OUT. There is absolutely no hiding from it!
Mid 2020 after realizing I needed some help, I started working with a career coach, Nathan Teegarden, to help me figure out what the hell I wanted my business to look like, what I was even passionate about anymore (because I was convinced all 2020 that I was DONE with nutrition, health + wellness- thats how burnt out I was), and how to make my own sandbox instead of getting into everyone else’s and playing their way. (Fuck that)
The first step we took was looking at my hardwiring: my personality type across multiple tests and what kind of environments play into my strengths the best so that I could feel energized and ultimately thrive running my business. I learned that I’m an ENFP on the Meyers Briggs with the highest level of extraversion- commence the lonely hole I had been living in while working from home alone for days on end with my online business. YIKES.
I also learned deeply about my strengths and how I had been too focused on trying to better my weaknesses in my business every day instead of leveraging my strengths + hiring out my weaknesses. Everything started to make sense!!! NO WONDER I was hating my business and slowly depleting myself.
I can’t stress enough the importance of understanding your personality + strengths before starting your business so you can leverage those aspects of yourself + thrive.
5. Identifying energy drainers vs. energy drivers make everything easier + more rewarding.
Nathan taught me this: take time to look at the things you do every day in your business that give you energy (driver) and the things that deplete your energy (drainer).
In my first few years of biz that led to burnout, I didn’t even think about drainers or drivers- I only thought about all of the wild dreams and thoughts and creative ideas I had that I felt like I had to execute by myself.
When you know what your drainers are, do your best to hire them out or find a way around them. Yes, some things in business are unfortunate necessities that you will have to do (you’re not going to love ALL of it), but there may also be room for you to cut things out or pass them off to someone else you’re not presently opening your eyes to.
Understanding and identifying my energy drainers and drivers has changed my LIFE and I hope you take the time to do the same.
Closing Thoughts +Resources:
I can’t recommend working with Nathan highly enough- if you’re feeling genuinely stuck in business or in life, he’s an incredibly helpful coach with no agenda but to help YOU figure out what works best on your terms. He’s also an older man (friend of my fathers turned honorary family member lol) with plenty of life experience to speak from. Check him out here.
Books to consider to guide your journey:
Also, if you haven’t already downloaded my FREE how-to guide on starting your nutrition business, hop to it! It’s full of actionable, helpful tips and tricks to get you started.