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This week I’m taking a hiatus from the A to Zen series to share a special post with you. Kimberley Riggins asked me to be a part of her BossLady blog tour to help kick off her new endeavor The Bead Effect.

I said YES in a heartbeat and then nearly peed myself when I saw the company I was in. You can catch up with the other BossLadies’ wisdom here.

Now it’s my turn to share 3 “TRUTHS” I’ve learned from being a BossLady. . .

#1 :: If it was easy, everyone would do it

No one said owning a business would be easy. It’s a lonely road when you’re slugging away hours a day and talking only to your dog. Or having no one who understand the joys, perils and bullshit of working for yourself. There’s a certain mindset that goes into being the BossLady. . .

Natural leader, entrepreneurial spirit, organized, disciplined {insert your description here}.

For me, it wasn’t about any of those (at first). I really disliked working for other people, and in my mind it seemed like it would be “easier” if I was working for myself. Oh, the things we don’t know that we don’t know. . .

I became a BossLady in 2001, when I opened my first yoga studio. My dad was pretty concerned with this turn of events, certain I was meeting my security and financial doom.

Honestly, I was pretty uncertain too, but I knew I had to take the risk–even when everyone was cautioning me against it. 

“Oh, I could never do that.”

“How can take such a big risk?”

“Yoga? That’s not a real job.”

“Most businesses fail in less than two years.”

Honestly, I’d been laid off three times in less than five years, so I no longer believed working for a corporation was any more secure or less risky than working for myself.

#2 :: Make a decision, then get into action

When I was working for others, I hated that I had to wait for someone else to make a decision, and those decisions never came quickly. I once submitted a proposal to a supervisor that took six months to get approval.

When I decided to open a studio, it became a matter of figuring things out. There were only two other studios and they were about thirty minutes away, so everything I did came from a place of ”who knows, let’s try it and see what happens.”

And that’s been my mantra for being a BossLady. “Who knows? Let’s try it and see what happens.”

About a year into owning my first studio, I had the idea to add yoga teacher training. Again, not too many people were doing it, but it felt like the right thing to do, so I did it.

No proposals, no meetings, no feasibility studies. Just figuring things out. . .

I got into action by creating an outline and curriculum, and twelve years later, I’m still training teachers. Recently someone called me the grandmother of yoga because now there’s a second generation of people taking and teaching yoga–from students I taught who are now teachers.

That wouldn’t have happened if I had hemmed and hawed, taken six months to research, or doubted my gut instinct to do it. I made the decision and repeated the above mantra many times.

Not every decision I’ve made has reaped positive results. Some have crashed and burned. When that happened, I made a new decision and worked on the last TRUTH for being a BossLady. . .

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#3 :: Keep moving forward, no matter what

When a choice, or an endeavor, hasn’t been successful, I allow a few days for wallowing and self-doubt. I debate doing freelance work or taking a part-time job. Then thankfully I wake up from my delusions and get busy working on my next idea.

For the last three years my focus has been on translating my yoga teaching and coaching into an online space, and for the first two years I’ve felt like a brand new yoga teacher again.

I’ve taken many courses to “learn how others were doing it and finding success.” I spent a good portion (fortune!) investing in growing my online knowledge. And many times in those two years, I’ve gotten bogged down in the learning process, doubting my decision to “go digital.”

Then I remembered the two big lessons I share with my new teachers: Experience comes from the doing and find your own voice.

Get out there and practice. Learn the basics, the rules so to speak. Only then can you really know how to make them your own.

This is when truth #3 comes into play. When you’re learning the rules, figuring out how to break them, and finding your own voice, you must keep moving forward. No. matter. what

There you have it. The three big lessons I’ve learned from being a BossLady over the last decade.

  • It’s NOT easy. There is no such thing as overnight success. Anyone who has ever been labeled an overnight success scoffs at this phrase. Anything worth having takes time and effort.
  • If something isn’t working, or no longer feels right, make a new decision and get into action. You will only know if something is truly right or wrong if you’re taking action on it.
  • Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Just because you learned something wasn’t right for you doesn’t mean it’s a sign to quit or get a “J.O.B.” Whatever you have inside of you, other people need it too.

And other people especially need more BossLadies. . .women who are tired of the cattiness, bitchiness and competition. Women who desire collaboration and want to see others succeed. Women who listen to their guts and give more than they take. Because. . .

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Be sure to check out Allison Braun–the Business Joyologist–who shared her insights yesterday, and tomorrow Amber McCue wraps up the BossLady Blog tour!