What to do when you don't know what's next...


I recently posted a blog about where to look to find a breakthrough. What I didn't reveal in that post was how much I was struggling inside my own wilderness of not knowing. I've been on a path to become my own boss for quite some time -- really since 2014 and it's been an uphill challenge. In 2014 I started building a restaurant that opened in the summer of 2015. I operated it for 4 years and ended up selling it in 2019 because despite everything I tried, I could not get it to a profitable state. (I'll write a blog soon about how I came to the conclusion to sell the restaurant).


As I was preparing to sell the restaurant, I found myself in an incredibly creative state of mind with a LOT of ideas about what I could do next. I think it was a reaction to feeling a deep sense of loss that kept me feeling like my head was above water. I created an art school and I was just getting started with in-person classes when the lockdowns happened and I had to cancel my classes. Despite trying to convert it into and online business, I just wasn't able to gain the kind of traction I wanted. This led me to really get quiet and listen to what my heart was trying to lead me to and after a lot of soul searching, I enrolled in a course to become a professional coach. Through all of this I continued my work as a business consultant, knowing I wanted to find a way to shift out of this work and build my own business. Adding coaching to my offerings as a consultant seemed like a logical step, but more importantly, becoming a coach had been something I had thought about quite a bit.


The title of 'coach' can mean many, many things and I was faced with the question of exactly what kind of coach I wanted to be. My background would logically lead me back to the corporate world of executive coaching. Except it just didn't ring true to what my heart wanted for me. I felt like I was back to square one -- in the wilderness of not knowing.

 

I knew I had a lot to offer with the diversity of my experiences, but it was like trying to put a puzzle together with the pieces upside down. I just couldn't get the picture to form for me.




I joined several business-building communities but they were more suited to business owners who had already figured out what they wanted to do, which just led me to feel even more anxious and annoyed with myself for not being able to figure this out. I didn't have my 'dream product' to launch or something I felt like I could really get behind. It reminded me of how alone I felt, especially when I was trying to get the restaurant to be a viable business, but there just want anyone that I could find to help. And then it clicked, I couldn't be the only business owner who felt this alone.


This is the point that I decided that the coaching business I wanted to create was to support small business owners to achieve their dreams while never having to feel alone doing it. It was like all of the pieces came together and I could now see what each of these business misfires had taught me, more than if they had been successful from day-one.


I had a map now. It doesn't mean that there won't be a lot of work ahead of me. I imagined it must be what it feels like to be an archeologist who unearths the dinosaur toe. The rest of the bones need to be uncovered, but all of the effort up to that point all of the sudden make complete sense. The thrill I felt when I landed on this brought me to tears and that's when I knew this was what I needed to focus on.


If you're a small business founder, I'll be creating a line of services to support your business -- things like group coaching, 1:1 coaching, workshops, etc. called the Thinkubator.biz. I'm excited to bring this into the world and I hope you'll come along for the journey. I'll still offer my coaching services because my clients mean so much to me, but many of you are also business owners so the transition may simply be transparent.


If you're in a similar spot trying to figure out what your gifts are, I would be thrilled to talk with you more to see if coaching is something you could benefit from.


XOXO

Ann


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