Most people are afraid of failure. But have you ever felt trapped by your success?
I have a solid business plan that, when followed, brings in exactly enough revenue to meet my business and personal needs each month. It took me less than three years to build this predictable, six-figure model. I love my clients! I love my work!
So why have I been so restless and dissatisfied lately? Why have I felt so trapped?
I got the answer last weekend while on the tippity-top of Palomar Mountain just outside of San Diego, on a four-day retreat with Mellissa Seaman - my shaman, business teacher, and mentor.
During a break on the first day, I spent two hours in the hot tub, pruning it up with Mellissa’s right-hand woman, Jamie – a skilled coach and business idea extraordinaire. We watched hummingbirds zip around and listened to hawks’ screeching calls echo off the mountainside. We felt the cool, mountain breeze on our faces while enjoying the warm, bubbling water on our bodies. We talked business and strategy. We talked success and failure. We brainstormed and brainstormed until our faces were flushed with heat and our toes were shriveled into little prunes.
After hearing me describe my puzzling restlessness even in the midst of great success, Jamie interrupted me and said. “Melanie, you’ve turned your business into a corporate job.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re just showing up,” she said, as she wove her hand through the bubbling water in a figure eight. “You’ve got it all down, all figured out. So now you just have to clock in, do your thing, and clock out.”
The more I sat with this realization throughout the weekend, the more I realized how right she was. I had this business thing so much on lock-down that I had lost my fear, my edge. Who would have ever thought a little fear could be a good thing!
When I was just starting out, I was so full of fear and uncertainty that I had no choice but to rely heavily on Spirit to carry me through. I prayed before each coaching session, danced and pumped up my energy before every workshop, and set big intentions for each new month, then waited with bated breath to see if they’d come true.
Now I’m kind of like, “Yeah here’s my workshop. Here’s my story that I’ve told 1000 times – school principal, traveled the country, started a business, helped thousands of women, blah blah blah. Here’s my program it’s great you can register in the back. Thanks for coming bye.”
Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but still. An element of nonchalance and been-there-done-that has invaded, and it just isn’t serving me.
In addition, I’ve had lots of new, inspired ideas for programs and retreats, but haven’t created any of them because I feel so locked in and obligated to delivering the year-long thing I said I’d create back when I established my business plan. I “don’t have time” for anything new.
A business plan is good, but not when there’s no room for growth. Steady income is great, but not when there’s no room for Spirit.
It reminds me of something one of my first bosses said to me when I was a young teacher, writing curriculum. “Teach the same unit every year until you have it perfect. Then put it away and never teach it again. It’s done.”
So what does this mean for Professional Wild Woman?
It means that I am letting go of the yearlong structure of my group program and offering it one module at a time from now on. (There are five modules total, aligned with the seasons.) This will allow me to still keep teaching material that I love and working with clients that I LOVE, but also keep it fresh and inspired by changing it a bit each time. And it will leave room for new ideas to come through as they wish.
And since these Wild Woman Summits I’ve been leading this year are very nearly “perfect,” after delivering the two, currently-scheduled ones in November and January, I am letting go of leading any more. (Yikes! That’s huge!)
I’m not exactly sure what my offerings will be after that, but I trust Spirit to let me know. And I know I’ll be even more pumped about offering them because they’ll be right on the fresh edge of my passion.
I will still be led by the same goal of helping women bust out of their over-domesticated boxes, tap into their inner wild woman, and create businesses aligned with their purpose and the cycles of the earth that feed both their souls and their bank accounts.
Until I’m led by a different goal! (Having a business with a baby? Working with my husband on couples communication coaching? Anyone? Down the line, I can see it. . .)
I am returning to letting my heart and my passion lead the way, not my business plan. I am opening up and letting in a little bit of fear. And I am committed to continuing to bring in the necessary revenue in this way – in fact, I believe that the business will prosper even more when Spirit led.
So look for a greater variety of programs on the horizon! What they are will be a surprise to both of us.
And if you’ve been intrigued by the Wild Woman Summits and want to get in on one, January is your last chance! The November Summit is sold out, the January one is already half-full, and I won’t be offering this weekend workshop again for the foreseeable future. Check it out now at http://www.wildwomansummit.com!
What type of wild woman are you?
Hello! I'm Melanie Munir, founder of Professional Wild Woman - a women's empowerment business dedicated to helping women who are tired of feeling either "too much" or "not enough" to connect to their inner wildness so they can create work that allows them the fullest expression of their unique voice. Welcome!