In 2010, I took a leap of faith. With a severance package and a dream, I created my own thriving holistic health coaching business and actually made a living as a health coach and yoga teacher. In 2011, I joined a yoga-centered t-shirt and printing business, founded a yoga studio and wellness program that served a corporate campus with over 4000 employees and developed a yoga training program. I worked with 100s of yoga businesses, teachers and non-profit organizations. I learned first hand the dynamics of running a yoga studio, fostering relationships with teachers (and students), organizing events, retreats and workshops, paying bills, developing communications strategy and stifling drama all while maintaining an exterior image of peace and bliss.
On the inside, I was suffocating. I was running myself ragged with teaching, delivering t-shirts, conducting workshops, design consultations, developing web-content and copy, maintaining social media, writing a blog and managing its 10 contributors. I was running three different business models and giving too much of myself away in the process. I loathed going to our show room to work. I was pissed the showroom remodel was my “wedding present” and I hated driving to the printers even more. I became disconnected from my teaching and my practice, subbed out all of my classes and gained weight. I was miserable.
In under two years I went from blissful holistic entrepreneur to totally burnt out.
So I walked away. The time, the emotional investment, the equity. I gave it all up. It wasn’t worth it anymore. The departure was ugly. I was angry and hurt. I disconnected from my network, revived my legal career and went back to work. I easily slipped back into my old expertise and within 6 months was asked to present at a national convention in my industry. I am proud, but not satisfied. Being an expert in clinical trials was never my dream, it’s just something I am good at. I feel lost without something of my own. In January I decided embark on a Masters in Communication maybe even a Ph.D. I flip-flopped between environmental, health and feminist communications, desperately trying to revitalize the legitimacy of the ecofeminist movement, but It doesn’t fit like a glove.
I began volunteering for the communications committee of a non-profit organization. I started out as a general volunteer and naturally fell into the role of brand consultant and blog developer. I am in the process of revitalizing their brand identity through color, font, rules and consistency of message, re-designing their blog and creating a content calendar.I spent hours of my free time working on it and loved every single second. I presented it all to their board and executive leadership two weeks ago and blew them away.
I’ve finally realized, what I loved most about each of the businesses I ran wasn’t the product line or the services. It was the vision, the story and the identity. The process of helping an organization identify it’s image and voice, communicate its vision set me on fire. Passion that I had not felt in years was returning. I am in love with communication artistry, the rhetoric of vision, mission and passion.
That realization is the spark, the conception of something new.