Nearly one year since launching With The Flow and what a journey it has been! A year of learning, growing, connection, mistake-making and lots of fun. Now if you’re looking for world class, top-notch business advice, this probably isn’t the blog for you. Instead these are some lessons I learned over this past year that can not only be applied to starting a business or project, but might be useful when thinking about all elements of life.
I’ll say it one more time for the people at the back - JUST START. It’s so tempting to wait for things to be ‘better’ or even ‘perfect’ (yikes), but then we may be waiting forever… Which is often what we do. We think of an idea or something we want to do yet nothing ever gets done. We never actually start because we don’t feel ready, however, the best news is - you’re not supposed to be ready and it isn’t supposed to be perfect yet. Part of the process is learning on the job. So much can be learned when you’re in action whether it’s running a business, kicking up to a handstand, navigating parenthood. A great example of mine is teaching. Although I always learn a lot in yoga teacher trainings and on courses, the best learning I receive is in a studio or in front of a camera actually teaching. So if you are going to learn on the job, don’t expect yourself to be perfect before you’ve even got started. If you take one thing away from this blog, be it to START! Whatever it is, as long as your heart is in it - give it a go!
Find a way to make it happen
I can hear some of you say, ‘but it isn’t just that easy, I don’t have the time or the money’. This is where once again we let go of perfection and we find a way to make it happen in some form. If the conditions in which you start aren’t ideal or exactly as you’d pictured, (e.g. restricted in time, money, connections, resources), know that these restrictions can actually lead you to think outside the box. For example, if you give a painter access to all the colours in the world, often they won’t know where to begin, overwhelmed by choice. On the other hand, if they are restricted in some way, maybe to just a handful of colours, then this restriction will often lead to unique and creative work. This same idea applies when I create a yoga sequence. Some of my favourite classes I have taught were when I restricted myself, maybe no hands/only square hips etc. Often when you have all the freedom in the world, ideas can be stale. I challenge you to turn your restrictions on their head, and use them to your advantage.
Our ego is often way too proud to ask for advice or help because we don’t want to appear unknowing or show weakness. Nonetheless, if you can ease the ego, ask for advice from other people and give yourself the opportunity to learn. When you expand your circle by reaching out to people for advice, you create more connections and contacts and you’ll be surprised by how often this leads to a new opportunity or idea. So be open, ask and listen to advice.
Celebrate the little wins
I’m sure you’ve heard many expressions about the journey being far more important than the destination, and it really is. If we don’t allow ourself to celebrate all those little wins, then what’s the point? Celebrating the little wins allows you to actually enjoy the process. This inevitably will lead to a deeper commitment, improvement in the project, and in turn achieve more little wins… And so this joyous cycle continues. Cheers to that!
Comparison is the thief of joy
There will always be someone who appears to be doing ‘better’ than you, but that’s their journey, and this is yours. To keep present in your own journey, remind yourself of how far you’ve come and what you’ve already achieved, ask yourself - would the version of me six months ago be proud of what I’ve achieved?
Another thing to bear in mind when it comes to comparison, is with your market competitor. Whatever it is you’re creating you’ll probably want to shop around to scope out the competition. This is great advice and you can gain a great deal from it, however, don’t get carried away. What you have to bring to the table is unique and special to you, so constantly comparing it to what others are doing will steal the joy!
Failure is ok
I think the biggest reason we often don’t do things is the fear of failure. It's scary stuff. I think failure will always feel a little bit scary, but the more comfortable we can get with it, the better. So start doing things that take you out of your comfort zone to practice. Try taking up a brand new hobby where you’re a beginner at something. Let yourself fail and see that it’s ok, you can just dust yourself off and try again.
So there you have it, a few of my little take-aways from a year of With The Flow. I hope they resonated and are helpful for whatever journey you’re on. Just start, keep going, celebrate the little wins - and if it all falls flat on its face, well you know what they say, it’s better to regret the things you did than the things you didn’t ;)