The Journey of a Soulpreneur
Change is the Only Constant When You’re Becoming
All right! Happy September!!! September always feels like a brand new start for me, and I’m eager to seize that fresh, clean energy and run with it!!
This month, I’m focusing on two ways to provide huge value to you, my beloved PowerHouses…
1) I’m creating GROW, which is very exciting – it’s the 4th of the 5 Seasons of Success. Having this material pouring through me has been one of the best – and most challenging experiences of my whole life. It’s definitely made 2019 a transformative year to remember!
2) I’m also doing my first Challenge in YEARS in the PowerHouse and we’re going to be looking at How To Resuscitate Your Facebook Business Page.
(oh! those dang biz pages! I asked in the PowerHouse what y’all would like most and this was far and away the winner…)
Okay, let’s get back to that series we were doing in August on how to make shifts in your business to ensure that you stay true to your soul’s evolution while also continuing to serve your best clients.
Stay True to Your Soul’s Evolution
And, let’s start with one more Mindset:
Mindset: It doesn’t have to be ‘all or nothing’ or ‘all right now’ – my transformation and change can be gradual and graceful.
There’s a ‘burn the ships’, ‘no Plan B’, ‘no back door’ mentality out there that I think is very damaging. It encourages brand new Coaches, for instance, to quit their day job NOW and commit to building their coaching business full-time.
It’s a huge amount of risk and, while some people can do it, and do succeed, what I’ve seen for the vast majority of people is that they end up enduring MASSIVE financial insecurity and struggle and stress, burning out and often returning to the workforce because they’ve come to believe that something is *wrong* with them.
No, m’love, there’s nothing *wrong* with you. The truth is that it takes 3-5 years of consistent effort to build a sustainable income stream in coaching and you have to be WORKING IT every day to get to that place.
You have to continually be developing your entrepreneurial skill-set and client base and stretching into the discomfort of change.
If you’re starting your new thing as a side hustle, that’s okay. It really is.
It’s Okay to Gradually Build Into Your New Thing
All or nothing is a limiting belief about how the world and energetics work. It focuses on scarcity and either/or. We know better and so we go for both/and.
For most of my entrepreneurial career, I’ve had multiple income streams.
Are you ready? I’m going to break it down for you, along with some of the lessons learned during my journey. Here’s the flow:
The Early Days of My Soulpreneur Journey
I graduated with two degrees in the mid-90s: Chemical Engineering and Biology.
(why didn’t I go into Chemical Engineering? that’s a story…)
Then I worked for the Sierra Club of Canada (Elizabeth May hired me) for a year and realized that I could not spend my life doing environmental work.
(that’s another story for another day… there’s a lot of those through here…)
Then I worked for 6-weeks as a cashier at Canadian Tire. I learned I liked handling money, but not so much having dozens or hundreds of people breathing on me all day long. I got sick, the Doctor said it was from the people, and I said, ‘nuts to that’.
While I was figuring out what to do next, I took a training to become a Certified Reflexologist (something I’d been dabbling with since 1992) and I also took a few college level course to become a trained aesthetician (oh yes! I did!) who could do manicures and pedicures.
Looking to Serve as a Healer
My dream back then was to build a business going to people’s homes and cottages and giving them luxury pedicures and manicures that included a fabulous reflexology session.
(you can see that even way back then I was looking for a business idea and a way to serve)
I worked that for a while and then blew out my wrists giving my then-boyfriend a back massage.
Lesson learned: using my body to serve others is physically exhausting and I have to be very careful.
While I was doing all of that as a side hustle, I also worked as an Admin at the Ministry of Health and then as an acupuncture clinic assistant where I developed a repetitive-use shoulder injury that still flares up from time to time.
(the body is fragile, yo!, we need to take care of it + do proper rehab)
While I was working at the clinic, and still doing Reflexology as a side hustle (way before the term side hustle was commonplace, by the way), I also started tutoring high school kids in Chemistry and Biology.
Learning to Serve as a Teacher
This was great, and I eventually found a teaching position at a private high school just a couple of blocks from my apartment in Etobicoke. I did that for a few years and while I was doing that, I started working out…
(now that is a very long story of broken hearts and getting fit for revenge 🤦♀️)
… and I eventually became an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and started working at the gym AND in people’s homes.
So, let’s call that Phase 1 of my entrepreneurial journey. Between 1996 and 2001, I transitioned through 9 – NINE!!! – different ‘career’ paths before landing at personal training, my 10th.
Wow. I’m so curious what you think about that? What judgements come up for you?
(my brain is full of them)
But we’re not done! Not. even. close.
Lessons Learned as a Serial Entrepreneur
Here’s what I want you to get. At every position, even though I didn’t realize it back then (I was so unconscious! no, really, I was not in my body), I was learning incredibly valuable lessons that continue to serve me to this day. I was learning…
1) That my body can only take so much and needs to be well cared for,
2) How to run a small business,
3) That I was NOT meant to work in an office 9-5 environment (it was slow death),
4) That I am happiest when I am working 1-1 or in small groups,
5) That I prefer variety – I don’t like having to do the same thing every day for months or years on end,
6) That I like to go deep with my clients and really find out what’s going on with them,
7) That I’m a teacher, and
8) That I’m a healer.
Loving to Serve as a Personal Trainer
Soooo… that brings us to personal training, which I did for the next 12 years. I specialized in older adults…
(*coughcough* by which I meant over 45 and which I would love to say is NOT at all older but there are things that start to change in your body and, well, yeah, it just is… older)
… and, at one point, was one of the most successful personal trainers at my gym chain in Toronto. That was pretty cool.
But, I bet you’ve already guessed, while I was doing personal training…
I became a Certified Yoga Exercise Specialist,
a BodyFlow Instructor,
a Life Coach Specialist (that was my first coaching cert way back in 2004),
a Nutrition and Wellness Specialist,
and in 2009, I started taking copywriting courses.
And, of course, I was still doing the occasional Reflexology session.
Because while I loved personal training and I totally loved my clients, there were some things, including the massive amount of driving and the early mornings, that I did not love.
And I felt called to more. More ease. More intellectual challenge.
Learning to Market as an SEO Copywriter
So, I transitioned slowly from personal training to copywriting. I specialized in website SEO copywriting. That’s how to get your site showing up on Google while still writing well enough to serve your clients and leads.
As I was building my copywriting business, I kept my favourite PT clients.
Multiple income streams. Always.
Let’s call that Phase 2.
Phase 2 had incredibly important lessons for me.
It was during this phase that I learned how to sell personal services.
I went from expecting potential leads to say, ‘No’ because, as a new Personal Trainer, they always did, to selling extremely well. I want you to see this – that shift took YEARS. I learned how to connect with people – how to see their pain and really feel it with them – and then to show them a path to a better life.
I did it in Personal Training, and then in copywriting. And now I do it in Coaching.
Learning to Sell the Journey
It’s all about the journey. I learned how to sell the journey during Phase 2.
(and that’s why I teach others to sell the journey in the Business Building Foundations – so they don’t have to spend years figuring out how to do it)
But, do you see? I had to go through all that to learn how to sell and to learn how to show up consistently for my clients.
I had to go through that training process to build the skills of successful entrepreneurship. It was like an apprenticeship for my own business-building abilities.
(so, hey, if you’re still in that phase where you’re checking things out and learning what works for you, and learning how to sell, then that’s okay – it’s part of the journey)
Then, one fateful day, one of my copywriting clients said, and I paraphrase, “Well, I’m an NLP Coach, and we use language in a very specific way. If you want to write my website, you need to go to this weekend.”
Passionately Serving as a Coach
And I did. I hated it. But something in me cried out in soul recognition and 4 months later I was a brand new NLP + Hypnotherapy Trainer.
That’s right. I slammed through HUNDREDS of hours of in-class training and exams in just a few months WHILE continuing to serve my copywriting and personal training clients.
(can I also add here that my husband is a marvellous man who knew, right from the first upsell, that I was going the whole way, and who still stood by me and loved me – that’s a good man)
And, of course, that gets us to Phase 3, the one we’re in now and the way that I know you.
Over the years, I’ve labelled myself many, MANY different ways and I’ve brought my skills along with me. I’ve incorporated the gifts from each version of who I was becoming while I dealt with what no longer worked.
I’ve shed skins and continued to grow – to learn about and expand into my destiny.
So, yeah, I’ve been a full-time Coach for 7 years now – which in this industry is an eternity! – but, I’ve been working 1-1 with people on their personal journeys to become more of who they were meant to be for over 20 years. I’ve been working in the healing professions for over 20 years, and I’ve been coaching for over 15.
Becoming More of Who I’m Meant to Be
More than ALL OF THAT, I’ve been BECOMING the person that I needed to be to build a business that works – and learning what doesn’t work – ever since I started my first business way back in University.
None of it was a waste. All of it taught me who I need to be to succeed.
And I’ve got those learnings because I learned how to Harvest. I learned how to go back and go over what had happened to get the nuggets of gold. I learned how to become more of the me that I’m meant to be instead of simply repeating the same old patterns again and again. I’ve learned how to grow and become more than I ever dreamed possible.
You can do the same thing.
I have copywriting clients who are now coaching clients. I have coaching clients that I help with copywriting. I still have the knowledge of how the body ages and how to support it from my days as a Personal Trainer. And, yeah, I still occasionally drop an amazing reflexology session on some very lucky soul.
I don’t regret my journey.
Transitioning Between Callings with Grace
One of the big keys is that I always transitioned slowly. I always built up my income stream in the new thing before allowing the old to let go.
It was a natural, evolutionary process. I always had a safety net – even though I knew there was no way I was going back because what I was moving into felt so much more right – I always had income support.
I always let my clients know what was happening. I would chat excitedly with them about the new thing that was emerging WHILE I continued to provide excellent service for what we had contracted. I learned how to transition and how to end and how to begin.
I kept my vision, my integrity, and my entrepreneurial spirit intact. I was, and still am, always looking for the highest and best use of my mind and body and soul in the world. I am always looking for the best way I can serve and feeling into who I am meant to be now.
Where Is Your Journey Taking You?
So, tell me: Where are you struggling with a transition? What’s the new thing that you want to bring in but you’re just not sure how to do it?
Like, legit. Tell me. Because one thing I have learned over the years about me: I am happiest when I’m serving. When I’m getting my hands down in the soil of the Unconscious Mind and bringing new treasures to light – and bringing my clients along on the journey to new life.
So, how can I help you to become more of who you are meant to be?
Remember: You’re here to build a new world.
And we’re here to help.
You don’t have to do it alone.
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Vanessa Long is founder of The PowerHouse: Magic, Money, and Mastery for Women Entrepreneurs and The PowerHouse Academy. Focused on providing straight-forward, no b.s. solutions, strategies, and support to move you from where you are to where you yearn to be. It’s time to tap into your purpose and feminine power by moving out of ‘should’ and struggle and into consistent business success. This is for Coaches, Healers, and other Soulpreneurs who are ready to bring more magic into their lives and businesses.
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Tagged as: Build Your Business, Discovering Your Passionate Purpose, Healer, How to Change Jobs, Self-Care, Serial Entrepreneur, Soulpreneur