Two years ago, I was laid off from a startup that had acquired a company I founded. I had just gotten back from a Christmas and New Year's vacation in Europe and on my first day back, my managers requested an 8 a.m. Google Hangout meeting. It was there that I learned our entire editorial team was being let go and that our startup funding was dwindling.
To be completely honest, all I felt was relief. I loved my colleagues and the founding team, but I couldn't help feeling that I wasn't being true to myself. At the time, all I wanted was to open a gym. I had been in the fitness industry for seven years at the time and this is what my heart beat wildly for.
For the next two years, I committed myself to this dream but also found myself jumping headfirst into excuses. The first one came a few months later after a breakup. I felt too heartbroken to even wake up in the morning, let alone open a gym. Other excuses shortly followed when I was presented with rental leases and couldn't get myself to sign on the dotted line.
I was terrified. I was fearful of losing borrowed money, having no clients, and failing at the one thing I thought I could do.
This past year, I woke up day after day, anxious that I hadn't done anything yet. What was wrong with me? At the bottom of it all, I knew why I had stalled for two years straight: because it wasn't for me. Plain and simple.
After many struggling days, I meditated on one thought: What resonated with me? After deep thinking and hard questions, I knew one thing was true: I wanted to teach but I didn't want to be locked down. I wanted to be mobile. I wanted the ability to travel, create a flexible schedule, and still teach to meaningful clients.
Cue in: corporate wellness.
It was simple: Reach out to as many possible startups and companies as I could to implement unique and exciting wellness programming. The week I decided that I would do this, I emailed over 100 companies and the response was quick and positive. I started booking trial classes and when my emails didn't land in the right hands, companies would seamlessly forward me to the right team. It was astonishing.
For the first time, it felt right. How did I know that this idea was the one?
- I couldn't stop working on it. The ideas just kept flowing.
- There was overwhelming interest.
- It was so simple and easy to explain.
At the end of the day, I realized that my past ideas hadn't worked out as well because I would be missing one of these three key points. When I could finally market the idea to myself, potential clients, and friends, I knew that I had found something. For once, I stopped saying "but."
I'm not saying that it's easy as 1-2-3. Landing on the right idea may take a split second or a decade. There's no one path or even one right answer. In fact, you'll oftentimes stumble on a hundred possibilities until one truly sticks.
And you know what? That's OK. It's more than OK. In fact, it's how entrepreneurs get their name. They fight the fight, endure the lonely nights, and push through hard times until they get it right.
As for me, I can't tell you if I'll turn into another statistic that closes down my business or thrives through a future economic breakdown. All I know is that for now, it finally feels right and I will continue to ride that wave for as long as I can. I hope you do, too.