How to Cope When You’ve Outgrown Your Business (Part 1)

Emerging from the burrow where I feel I‘ve been for the last 18 months while dealing with my husband’s illness and subsequent death, I have discovered that I’m no longer a match with my business.

What?

Yes, The RichThinkers I set up over 5 years ago got stunted in its growth when I entered that burrow, which of course I didn’t realise as I was head down, being a carer, then feeling full of grief and finally doing my best to cope with learning to live alone after 20 years of marriage.

But I’ve moved on a bit now, and I’m poking my head out of the burrow, having a good look around, and I’m seeing the landscape with new eyes. The air smells different; what I see, although it appears to be the same, is perceived differently.

In fact, everything around me just feels different.

Clearly I’ve outgrown RichThinkers in some way. But when you’ve outgrown your business, what do you do?

For me it was a particular set of circumstances that occurred that spurred this growth, but for you it might be presenting itself as:

  • feeling frustrated because you know you can offer more, but the clients simply aren’t coming in.
  • feeling restless because your passion seems to be demanding more of you, and yet you’re scared because you don’t know the next step to take.
  • you’re fed up of playing small, and want to shine your light more into the world.

As you grow and develop within yourself, your business has to grow with you, otherwise you begin to feel hampered by what you are doing even if you love it, or the skin you are in starts to feel too tight, or else you just have a knowing, deep down, that something has to change. It’s happened to me, and maybe it’s been happening to you too.

Let me share with you what I’ve been doing over this past period of time which has led me to taking a giant leap of faith up and out into the world. It’s not very sexy though, I’m warning you! In fact, it’s not even cool, or tempting.

I’ve been waiting.

Feeling frustrated, knowing something had to happen differently, but not knowing what. But trusting that as I waited, at the entrance to the burrow, that I would know when to come fully out and begin to play and dance with life once again.

And finally here I am, out and playing in the grass just by the burrow! I can see far horizons, miles of fields, woods, rivers and a mountain range – a landscape that is begging to be walked through.

A destination that looks tempting, a journey to be made.

I’ve been practicing my mantra of Stop, Be Still, Listen and only then Act – and now is the time for the action.

I’ve become clear about what has been happening because about 3 weeks ago I started working with a new coach for myself, in a very different way to any other coaches I’ve worked with.  Through this new and very supportive relationship, I could see that the emerging from the burrow began with giving a talk in February. No big deal you might think, but this was the first time I’d ventured to do anything like this since Philip had been diagnosed with cancer, 2 years previously.

I’d responded to an invitation some 6 months earlier, thinking at the time that surely I would be able to do some public speaking by then.

Entitled Your Mind in Your Business – Friend or Foe? I‘d picked a topic I knew lots about and thought it would be fine. Of course, by the time I realised it was coming up and I had to prepare, I didn’t feel in the least ready! But I prepared anyway, committed to doing what I’d said I would do.

That very black night, the snowfall while I was driving to the venue was so blinding that I could only crawl along at 30mph – the white lines in the middle and sides of the roads had disappeared completely. It was freaky, made me feel very alone and tearful without Philip, and I seriously thought of turning back home – except that I knew there was nowhere to turn on this road, so I had no option but to continue.

“Oh God this is awful, why did I say I would do this, I will just have to let them down, it’ll never work, I’ll have done all this and only a handful of people will be there, what a waste.”

The negative thoughts chattered on in my head and I began to feel a bit guilty because (according to others anyway) I am not supposed to have them. Ha!

Anyway, I got there. I did my talk successfully (there were 17 people, hurray!) and 11 of them signed up for my free Strategy Session offer, wow! I got home safely (the snow had stopped). Suddenly, work felt like it was beginning to flow again, and sure enough in the next month, several other enquiries popped out of the woodwork.

Looking back now, I realise this was the beginning of the end of the waiting. Because suddenly a burst of energy had been released. I surprised myself by loving doing the talk, got right back in touch with why I do my work in the first place, and it had been received well. I hadn’t been attached to any outcome, and I had drawn successfully on years of experience but in a fresh way. And (a very big and) I had done it on my own.

All on my own, without the support of Philip.

This was huge for me, and although I was in tears again when I arrived home to an empty house with no-one to share it with who knew exactly how significant it all was, it still felt all right.

But it was out of the space created with the stopping, being still and listening (whole body listening, I mean) that an action could happen. OK, I had set it up months previously, but even so I could have pulled out. That talk was definitely an action born from the stillness of Source.

For me, the action was a talk; for you, an action might be:

  • clarity about the next step you need to take.
  • an insight about how you have been sabotaging yourself, thereby leading to an action.
  • simply a knowing that you need to take a much bigger leap than you have ever done.

Which then will translate into action – I knew for instance, that I needed help to take another step on the journey after I had done that talk, hence getting a coach.

So, where are you in your business right now? Do you feel ripe and ready for a step up? Do you feel you’re wearing an old suit of clothes that just doesn’t fit properly any more? Or do you just feel plain old frustrated with doing things the same old way, knowing you want to move forward, but not sure how to get to where you want to go?

Sometimes these things show up in lack of clients, or lack of ideal clients; other times it shows up in doing lots of things but not really achieving anything much, which then feels like you haven’t got enough time. Maybe money pressures are meaning you know you have to take some different action – but despite learning a bit about marketing it isn’t really working.

In next week’s article, I’ll share more about what steps I’ve been taking and the process I’ve been going through recently (and am still going through), in order to take action that results in getting you and your business nearer where you want to be.  Come join me on the journey!

5 thoughts on “How to Cope When You’ve Outgrown Your Business (Part 1)

  1. So great to hear of this journey. Time has been so fleeting I have not had time to read all your posts, but today was different. I believe there is a message for me and I love the “Stop, Be Still, Listen, then act.”

    I look forward to next weeks insights and wish you all the best in your endeavers.

    Love to you,
    Roseann

  2. I love the way you describe your process of returning to life after being in the burrow of grief with such openness. I think of courage, and the importance of timing, when reading this. It’s refreshing to have the possibility of outgrowing one’s own business named so clearly. Thank you. Your website is bright with the energy of growth and possibility.

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