This is an episode it took me 3 attempts at recording. Not because of technical difficulties but because it felt so damn uncomfortable. And important.
In today's episode of The Meaningful Business Podcast I'm sharing my experience of living and running a business while managing a long term mental health condition.
It's something I've mentioned before in passing, but as it's Mental Health Awareness week here in the UK, I'm making the choice to be a lot more open about my mental health experiences because:
a. I think the more we can normalise mental health the less stigma there will be around it. And the less stigma there is, the less shame people will hopefully have around asking for help.
1 in 4 of us experience mental health issues so it shouldn't be the dark secret it is for so many - including myself.
Mental health challenges drain you of so much precious life force and energy - the very least we can do is try and remove the unnecessary additional strain of trying to keep it secret too.
b. There are inherent risk factors for mental health baked into a lot of the culture of entrepreneurship - and this needs to stop. now.
c. I know that I am far from the only business owner who lives with a mental health condition so I'm sharing in the hope that by seeing that it's totally possible to have a sustainable business even with the added burden of a mental health challenge.
In this episode I share my own experience of living with anxiety, depression and OCD (obsessive thoughts variety), and some of the things I've put in place - both from a business perspective and a personal/lifestyle one, to support and sustain me.
Links mentioned in this episode on Business and mental health:
day’s podcast was recorded as part of the Messy Meaningful Business project - in fact, it’s our final contribution and I wanted to save it until the end. .
Julie Parker knows what it takes to build a messy, meaningful, beautiful coaching business. As the founder of the Beautiful You coaching Academy she trains coaches in the art and craft of becoming excellent life coaches and she also knows the reality of what it takes to build a sustainable coaching practice.
In this episode we talk about
How long it really takes to build a successful coaching business,
Why you should never quit your job until you are absolutely ready – emotionally and financially,
Why being successful involves focusing on meaningful connections and staying open to your intuition
How her business has evolved over the years - including opening up to her spiritual side as a Priestess.
We also discuss the glories of being a coach and a healer alongside the darker side of the industry - and why we need to talk about more so that we can start to clean up our own backyard and go into the industry with eyes wide open.
About Julie Parker
Hailed by ELLE Magazine as a "self-help guru" Julie Parker is the Founder of The Beautiful You Coaching Academy where she passionately trains and supports heart centered people to become life coaches. The Editor in Chief of inspired COACH Magazine, a published author, podcast host and in demand speaker, Julie has inspired thousands of people on stages all over the world and is the recipient of numerous leadership and women’s business awards.
Julie is also a modern day Priestess with a focus on her Celtic, Balkan, Iberian and Greek lineage. She is committed to contributing to a world where qualities of intuition, presence, nurturing, spiritual exploration, social justice and service are honoured. Julie is currently undertaking intensive training to become a Priestess of the Magdalene.
Julie lives in Melbourne with her husband, stepdaughter and two much loved adopted cats.
We're told to be authentic in our businesses - but it's often easier said than done. Jenny Mahan is someone who does this wonderfully. In this week's episode, she shares her business journey and how she has managed to beautifully blend so many elements of her life and work into a truly holistic business.
Jenny is a musician, nurse, health coach, soap maker, homesteader, and all round wise woman and she is very driven by a need to make real change through her word. To her, a meaningful business is nourishing for ourselves, our clients and the world around us. She bases her philosophy on permaculture principles - earth care, people care, fair share.
If you're struggling to choose a niche or combine multiple interests into one business, you'll love this episode.
About Jenny Jenny Mahan is a Registered Nurse, Certified Health and Wellness coach, and owner of Pine Creek Wellness. She supports folks who have had a health wake up call reclaim their health with holistic Lifestyle Medicine. Jenny offers online and in person Skillpower Culinary Medicine classes, and group and one to one coaching to support folks to feel better so they can do what matters most to them.
She lives in far northern Wisconsin near the shores of Lake Superior with her husband and son on a tiny spring-fed, Northwoods-shaded tributary of Pine Creek where they garden, raise chickens, make maple syrup, and are building their own small, passive solar, energy efficient home.
She is an author, singer/songwriter, soap maker, and reluctant runner and is passionate about promoting local sustainable agriculture and food justice. When she’s not working you can find her curled up with a book in the hammock, unless it’s snowing (which it is 7 or 8 months out of the year on Pine Creek), in which case she’s likely sitting by the fire knitting.
Today, Holly Worton and I talk about what it takes to publish a book, both the practical action that needs to be taken, as well as the inner work so we can step out of our comfort zone and actually take that action. We discuss Holly’s upcoming book, and the steps she’s taken to ensure that she gets the book out into the world in a much bigger way than she has with her previous eight books.
What You'll Learn
What it takes to write a book (both practical action and inner work)
The full process Holly used to write her upcoming book, from concept to publication
How things have changed in independent publishing over the past couple of years
Dos and Don’ts of book cover design, including tips that can make or break your book
A super easy (and affordable) way to crowdsource your book cover design
How to print a paperback without ending up with a garage full of books
How to deal with the inevitable mindset stuff that comes up along the way
Why we need to keep doing the mindset work throughout the project
Holly Worton is on the show again today and we're talking about the philosophy of “no pain, no gain” and how it applies to healing and personal development. Is it necessary? Is it an important part of healing? Are there times when we need to step aside from the more gentle types of healing and therapy and turn to something a bit more intense? Is this kind of healing right for everyone? And how do you know if it's right for you? In this episode, we explore the world of more intense therapies, based on some recent personal experience.
In this fascinating episode, Holly shares her recent experience of taking part in a Kambo ceremony - which was, erm... intense but something that she feels was not only worth it, but something she'd like to try again.
Even though we stress this in the show, Kambo is something that we do not recommend you do without proper, trained and supportive guidance.
What You’ll Learn
How does the “no pain, no gain” philosophy apply to healing and personal development?
Why we sometimes need to look at the dark stuff – but not wallow in it
How these types of therapies can help us to expand our comfort zone
Why it's so important to feel safe and supported when working with the more intense therapies
Is there real value in these intense healing experiences?
In this solo episode we're talking about perfectionism - that gnarly little habit of trying to make everything you do so damn impossibly good that ...well, you struggle to put the things 'out there' in the world.
Perfectionism is something that plagues me - always has and I've learned a lot of strategies to work with it over the years. And yet, like all personal growth it's never 'one and done'. It's comes back in a new form, or sometimes you find yourself dealing with the same old pattern but from a different angle. Which can be infuriating in an 'I thought I was done with this!' way.
I honestly thought for a long time that 'being a perfectionist' was something to strive for - in fact, I laughed out loud the first time a therapist told me I was a perfectionist - ridiculous, I thought, I'm not perfect at anything.
I learned over the years that perfectionism is most definitely not about thinking you're perfect - it's about never believing you're good enough and therefore nothing you create, produce, do is going to be good enough. But you try to make things good enough - but you never seem to get there. You can find yourself postponing and reworking projects, cancelling plans, telling yourself things like: It'll be good enough when... (insert impossible to achieve thing)
Fun fact: procrastination and perfectionism are bosom buddies! They often work in tandem to keep you out of action. A thing isn't good enough right, so you just need to spend a bit of time improving it, so you do and then it's still not quite there, so maybe if you add/change/remove this bit it will be better. It's easy to get stuck in a loop of perfecting and procrastinating and never doing the thing or putting your creation out into the world.
I learned from working with Tanya Geisler that perfectionism/procrastination are just 2 ways the Imposter Complex can show up.
Today I'm sharing my own experience with perfectionism and some of the ways I've learned to overcome it and stop getting in my own way (a lot of it has involved embracing the fact that my business and my life is allowed to be messy and imperfect and is can still be bloody good!)
Links mentioned in this episode around perfectionism:
The past 2 years or so have been intense politically and have thrown up a ton of questions and opened up a lot of really important conversations about gender, race and just how far we thought we'd come as progressives and feminists - compared to the realisation that it wasn't nearly far enough.
By the time of the 2016 US election, my friend Jen Pavich had graduated coaching school, was finishing up her Masters degree, had a great corporate coaching role and was building up a great private coaching practice. But in spite of it all, she felt like she was hiding a big part of herself in her business - her feminism.
Fast forwards to 2019 and Jen is a glorious example of how stepping out from behind the mask of trying to model what every other coach is doing can be the very thing that makes your business shine out from the crowd.
Jen Pavich is a feminist life coach who helps women overcome the patriarchy in their own heads so they can do the things they really want to do AND become social justice warriors who help overthrow the existing power structure.
Jen is a certified professional coach with an MA in Human Development, a fierce feminist worldview, and a passion for helping women create change in their lives. She is a certified facilitator (candidate) in The Daring Way™ method created by Dr. Brené Brown.
OK, I'll admit it - while I have been LOVING my conversations with Holly Worton, This one had me leaning WAY into my woo edge!
Today, we talk about spirit guides, our higher self, and tapping into our intuition. We discuss whether or not it’s disempowering to get guidance from external sources, and whether we should just rely on our intuition and our higher self for everything. This was inspired by an email Holly received from a listener:
Spirit guides versus inner self! This has been on my mind for a while and has come to the foreground while I've been taking Lisa MW's WooWoo101 course I've been wondering; if you rely on spirit guides for guidance, is that not… disempowering? Your inner self has all the answers, right? So is looking to spirit guides, or things like pendulums etc, not giving your power away? Is it trusting external factors rather than trusting your own inner guidance? Or are they simply all coming from the same place? I'd love to have more clarity on this, since it feels a little woolly in my head.
I ask a LOT of questions about spirit guides on this one and Holly was very patient with me! She shared her own experience of working with her guides, and how she knows when it really is one of her guides, and when it's her inner wise self or intuition.
Whether your familiar with your own guides or have zero experience like me, you'll find this episode fascinating!
What You’ll Learn
What are spirit guides, and why might you want to connect with them?
Do things like lineage and ancestors come into play?
Are angels, ghosts, and ancestors etc akin to spirit guides?
What are they trying to guide us to/from?
What is your higher self?
How do you know the difference? Do you hear voices? See things? How do you know you’re not just making it all up?
Is listening to guides abdicating responsibility to someone/something else?
Is it our ego that says we should primarily be led by our own intuition?
What kinds of things you can ask for help with in your life
How you can get started channeling your own guides
Eli Trier is a community building mentor and connector of kindred spirits. She helps quiet revolutionaries to get connected and build communities so that they can make a massive impact with their business, find their 'right people', and make their corner of the world a better place. And as an introvert herself, Eli's techniques are designed so that you can get super-connected without succumbing to 'people-fatigue' or getting depleted, even if the word 'networking' makes you want to cry.
And I love her! Our conversation was lush - Eli really brings an honesty and practicality to her work and shares her business journey as well as a ton of actionable ideas and strategies for developing your own community projects.
And what I love is how our philosophies align - she's all about creating meaningful interactions in this digital world and how we can use our passions and our businesses to alleviate the chronic loneliness and disconnection that's rife in our world, to create something magical - all while earning your living.
We talk about mental health, networking as an introvert, being the hub and the connector as a way to build relationships - and how we can build meaningful, honest, human businesses along the way.
Kyla Roma is a Canadian business coach to small business owners who want an organized, manageable way to run their business.
Kyla is very open about the fact that she's a human being - and in a world where cultivated perfection and always sunny lives are the norm online, this makes her story and approach even more refreshing. She's a Mum (to one small human, 2 dogs, and a hedgehog!) and someone who manages long term anxiety and depression. Her experience and circumstances have led her business to evolve and shape itself around her - prompting her to find innovative ways to use strategy and technology to create a business that fits hand in glove with her needs financially, emotionally and logistically.
In our conversation we talk about what led her to make the decisions she has in her business, where she sees so many entrepreneurs going wrong, how we can create businesses where the outside match our insides and why we all keep searching for the elusive magic sales pumpkin!
Since 2009 Kyla has been a trusted advisor to hundreds of businesses, and creative entrepreneurs who are passionate, discerning, and thoughtful. You can find out more about her work at https://www.kylaroma.com and follow her on Instagram (she has a wickedly good instagram feed) at https://www.instagram.com/kylaroma/