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5 Lessons I learnt from giving my business the chop

My business (rest it’s soul) has just been given the chop!

Don’t worry it was painless and in the event, it went very quickly without a murmur and hardly a backward glance from me.

I loved what I was doing. I was teaching women how to use their body with less effort and strain. It was something that I had found transformational in my own life, enabling me to move without pain after a few years of back problems.

But if I’m honest although I loved it, I wasn’t fired up by the subject. It didn’t use all of my twenty years of work experience, learning and studying. And if I’m brutally truthful, however hard I tried it didn’t seem to capture anyone else’s imagination.

I had this growing realisation that maybe, just maybe, I was a posture nerd and that perhaps this was just best kept to myself.

And sometimes you’ve just got to let something go.

“sometimes you’ve just got to let something go”.

Knowing when to do this is clearly a great skill, an art. And maybe I’m a slow learner (or a little stubborn) because I kept thinking “if I just work a little harder I can make it work.” In hindsight, it reminded me of a doomed relationship in my mid-twenties when I’d convinced myself that if I kept trying to be the most perfect partner, making more effort, I could make it work.

With greater wisdom you recognise that if there’s not a fit, there’s nothing you can do. You just have to stop grasping and clinging on, to realise that your energy is better spent elsewhere.


So now I’ve accomplished more in the last two weeks than the last two years. Admittedly I initially had a huge technology hill to climb that previously kept me busy for months.

But the energy feels different. I’m buzzing in a way I haven’t before. I can literally feel the ideas flooding my mind. I’m waking early in the morning and getting in a few hours writing (maybe it’s the new supercharged granola kicking in!) before the rest of the household wakes.

And my new venture has come with the awareness that I need to give my whole self to my business not just a teeny, tiny piece.

It needs to be about business – 16 years working in HR and as a management trainer. Running my own businesses

It needs to be about the mind – using my psychology degree and NLP

It needs to be about the body – ten years working as an Alexander Technique teacher

It needs to be about the spirit – more slightly alternative courses than a middle-aged woman would care to admit

What I learnt which could help you

Which brings me to you dear reader, because hidden in the failure has been a lot of learning and I’d like to reassure you about chopping a business, or feeling that you’re failing.

  • It’s all about being playful.

Bring a sense of play into your work. It’s about experimenting, trying things out, having a go. Open the window and let any perfectionist tendencies out. Let them soar away into the sky – you really don’t need them anymore.

  • Cultivate working with a sense of ease

I know there are things we all need to learn when developing a business  and it can be very slow when you first start up. But if you're trying to build your brand, attract clients and you're permanently getting very little positive feedback and it's a hard, heavy slog maybe it's time to lighten up. Maybe it's time to change what or how your're working.

  • Don’t be afraid to fail.

Actually it’s not a failure but the next stepping stone towards your success. Looking back, my first businesses look laughable but they taught me so much and I would never have got this far without them

  • What you learn along the way is more important than the end result.

Tricky this one because obviously we all want to be successful and I'm not denying that this is important. But it’s who and what you become along your journey, in the process of striving that I believe is the ultimate prize.

  • Be your whole, authentic self

Maybe, just maybe it’s about giving your clients, customers your whole self, your authentic self not just a little slice, not a just a small sanitised version that you think they'll like. Be yourself and give it to them, give it all.

"It's about giving your clients, your whole self, your authentic self and not just a little slice."

So the jury's still out on whether this latest business becomes a success or not (in fact it’s so far out that they’re still enjoying a last minute cup of tea before passing judgement).

The point is that it doesn’t really matter. Because if it works out great and if it doesn’t, I’m on to the next thing with a smile and not a single regret in my heart.