123. Real Talk: Your Business Doesn’t Have to Light Your Soul on Fire

Real Talk Your Business Doesn't Have to Light Your Soul on Fire

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Has the popular narrative of ‘soul-level work’ ever made you question whether every aspect of your business is something that should light your soul on fire? If so, let’s take some time to unpack this today.

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • Why it’s unrealistic to expect your business to provide unending joy
  • How the realities of running a business impact your daily life
  • Making room for evolving passions and interests

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The Unrealistic Expectation of Constant Joy

Let’s face it, the expectation that entrepreneurs should always love what they’re doing is, often, unrealistic. The idea of giving up something if it doesn’t spark joy can make us too quick to abandon projects that don’t instantly fulfill us. Feelings of dissatisfaction or unfulfillment might lead us into a damaging cycle of constantly shifting our business strategies and failing to stick with initiatives. We need to remember that successful businesses can be built on products and services that aren’t necessarily “soul aligned,” but that doesn’t make them any less valuable or successful.

The Realities of Running a Business

I remember my own obsession with finding passion in every facet of my work as an entrepreneur. There were times when, despite my love for what I was doing, my work felt more like a job – especially during periods of stress such as financial issues, legal problems, or challenging team dynamics. I’ve had to adapt to shifting algorithms and market changes, all the while maintaining my integrity. In my business of selling legal templates, for example, it wasn’t so much about having a burning passion for the product, but more about feeling good about what I was offering and how it was helping others.

The Evolution of Passion and Interest

It’s crucial to remember that passion and interest naturally evolve over time. Through my conversations with my friend Athena, I’ve come to appreciate that it’s completely normal to experience ‘seasons’ of change in one’s business. The industry can often pressure us into a constant ‘growth mode,’ but in reality, our feelings towards our business will fluctuate and evolve over time. Sometimes, our business might start to feel more like a job, but I argue that this isn’t necessarily a negative thing.

Looking back, I see how I used to define myself through my business and how I’ve gradually detached from that mindset. I strongly advocate for creating a clear separation between oneself and their business. Think about it in terms of forming an LLC. This separation helps to reinforce the point that you are not your business. I’ve grown to understand and appreciate the cyclical nature of business which has in turn, helped me to stress less about temporary slowdowns. It’s crucial to give yourself the permission to rest during slower periods and leverage busier ones to your advantage.

So, I want to remind you – it’s perfectly okay not to love your work or business all the time. Things will bounce back. Remember, not every aspect of your business needs to be “soul-level work,” but it should always have your integrity and commitment behind it.

Episode Transcript

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Sam Vander Wielen: Hey, and welcome back to On Your Terms. I’m your host, Sam Vander Wielen. I’m so happy that you’re here. I’m so excited to talk about, well, normally talking about legally protecting your business. We also talk here on the podcast about marketing your online business and especially doing so in a way that’s not only on your terms, obviously, but also that doesn’t drive you crazy.

And I’m hoping that today’s topic, you know, talking about the fact that your business doesn’t have to constantly light your soul on fire, it doesn’t always have to be so soul aligned, it doesn’t always have to be the number one priority in your life, it doesn’t have to be something that you love all the time. I’m hoping that this conversation today will just release a little bit of that pressure.

So, welcome. Welcome if you’re new to the podcast and welcome back if you’re a regular listener, and thank you so much for being here.

So, I can’t believe that this is the last episode in May because I’ve been sharing a Norm Tip at the beginning of every single episode in May. So, my dad, Norm, passed away in May last year, and when the episode started for May, I was like, “You know what? I want to share something that honors Dad.” So, I’ve been giving a little Norm Tip.

And today, I think, is my favorite norm tip of all. And I guess I would say that today’s tip is not so much a tip as it is something that my dad embodied and I think that we could all use a dose of, or at least I’ll speak for myself. So, my dad loved to putz. He loved to “shop,” which meant looking at everything and seeing what the prices were, usually complaining that things were too expensive.

And he loved going around. Like, he would go get his cucumbers from this favorite farm stand, and then he’d go buy tomatoes from this other favorite farm stand, and then he loved the blueberries at Costco. So, he had the time and he took advantage of it. He walked around farmers markets. He loved Costco. He loved Trader Joe’s. He even loved car lots. I mean, he loved everything.

He always said hi to everybody that worked there, like wherever he would go. And whoever owned it, every single farm stand knew who my dad was. They knew him by Norm. They would all go “Norm” when he walked in, because we all would say “Norm,” too, when he did that. And everybody knew a little something about them. And you know what? My dad knew about them.

Like, I always thought it was so cool that when we would go to a farm stand and we would stop and talk to the farmer who was working the register, he would always be like, “How’s Kyle?” And then, he turned to me and be like, “Her son, Kyle, just started medical school. He’s the one I was telling you about who went to blah, blah, blah.” He knew something about all of them, just the same that they all knew something. Usually, all of them knew about me. So, every time I’d walk in somewhere, they’d be like, “Oh, you’re the lawyer. You’re the one who played volleyball. You’re this, this.” It was so funny because he was always bragging about us.

I actually found out after he passed from going to some of these places that I knew he loved, like Costco, for example – I’ll never forget this. I went to Costco and I was walking out, and I recognized the woman that my dad would always say hi to. You know, at Costco, people always work the door and they check your receipts or they check your card when you’re coming in. And so, I recognized her and I stopped and I was like, “You know, I just wanted to let you know that my dad passed away, and I think you might have known him.” And I stopped and I showed her a picture of him and she was so upset, she said, “Norman. My Norman.” And she was so upset that he had passed and she said, “He made my day. Every time I saw him, he made my day so much brighter.” He would always stop and talk to people.

And I just also found out that he had done all these really kind and thoughtful things for people that I never knew about. I found out he went and was the witness to marry someone. My dad ran this badminton class every week, and this couple in his class was here from India and had recently become citizens and they wanted to get married. And they didn’t know anybody else here. They didn’t have any family here in America. And my dad went and he was their witness at their little ceremony.

And then, on top of it all, to make this the cutest thing ever that Norm did, I found out later that Norm took the pictures. He had his phone, which if you have a dad, you know what kind of pictures they take. His lens was always dirty and it was, like, half sideways, and he was never taking a picture of the right thing. So, he felt badly for them that they didn’t have anyone there to capture the moment. And so, my dad took a bunch of pictures of them at their little wedding ceremony at City Hall, and then he went and had the pictures blown up and he gave it to them, which is just the cutest thing I’ve ever heard. And I didn’t know about this until afterwards.

When all of his nurses from Penn came to his funeral, because this is how much this man would talk to everyone and get involved in people’s life, they told me that my dad used to bring them all their favorite vegetables. He would find out somebody loved tomatoes, he’d bring them tomatoes. If he found out that they love peaches – and so much of this was born out of the fact that he thought New Jersey produce was better than any other produce, and so he always wanted to show everybody.

But I hope to embody my dad’s thoughtfulness, and his generosity, and how he engaged with people always. I feel like he didn’t look past people and he saw everybody of equal importance and value. And even the person who walks by, you know, you walk by to check your Costco card, they have a story, they have kids or family or hardship, and my dad knew about it. So, I just think that that’s a beautiful life lesson and a way that I just wanted to end this month of honoring my dad, who I miss just terribly.

So, I’m actually not here to cry the entire episode. I would love to go an episode or two without crying, but it’s like welcome to my life.

I am actually here to talk to you about this idea that your work, your business, whatever, it doesn’t have to light your soul on fire all the time. And part of that thought process comes from the fact that – and I feel like this is something I’ve done a lot of work around or that has only started to like shift for me more recently -you are not your business. You’re not your business. You’re not your revenue. This thing that you’re creating or have created, it doesn’t have to define you.

And I think that the coaching industry has done a little bit of a disservice with having you think that every single thing that you do in your business, every product you put out, every service you offer, every everything has to be soul level work. If you’re not excited about it, if it’s not the most helpful, juicy, amazing, incredible, luscious thing for you, then it’s not good. And don’t worry, I’ve got all sorts of qualifiers for you in here about what is true about what they’re saying and where, I think, it goes a little sideways.

But to me, the problem is twofold. One is that when you hear advice, when you hear business or marketing advice that whatever things that you should create are things that you should be obsessed with and that light you up and that are so soul aligned and all this kind of stuff, the focus is on you and not on the buyer. Who are we trying to sell this thing to? Not you. But we’re trying to sell this to your buyer.

There was this article that I read recently called Is Therapy Making You Selfish? And I’m going to link to that down below. It’s kind of on a different topic. It’s talking about how there’s a lot of new language around people just contacting a friend, texting a friend and just being like, “You’re toxic so I can’t have you in my life anymore” or people being like, “You’re a narcissist, so I can’t have you. I can’t be the supply to your narcissist vampire anymore,” stuff like this where people kind of maybe are being told things in therapy and then they’re plopping it onto other people.

But I couldn’t help but think about how this was related to what I’m talking about in thinking only about what works for us and what feels good to us. And it kind of just takes the focus off of who we really should be creating things for. And, again, I’m going to qualify this big time that, of course, this has to be something you’re proud of and that you love and like and blah, blah, blah. We’ll talk about it. So, don’t get me wrong. Hang in there.

But when we approach things initially from the perspective that this is something that we’re creating because it lights us up, it’s not necessarily focusing on the right person, in my opinion. It’s also not realistic because this message that you should create something that’s super soul aligned – this is probably the part that I see the most of – it’s not super realistic because you’re not always going to love what you’re doing. And if you’re a self-developed person, if you’re somebody who’s working on themselves, who wants to get better and change and evolve and grow, then you’re not going to feel the same a year from now than you do today.

And so, what I end up seeing is that causing a lot of people to very quickly shapeshift and abandon products, like put out an offer, promote it for a little while. Who here has put out an offer, promoted it for a bit and then be like, “I don’t want to do that anymore”? And you toss that aside like it’s an Amazon fast fashion product that lasted two washes. So, I think that it’s really important because that might be why we see sometimes people shifting so fast. And, also, because this messaging is telling people that if you don’t like something, toss it aside. You should always be doing something you love. And what that causes people to do is to abandon something too early.

So, when people don’t feel super lit up by what they’re doing 24/7, they feel like they don’t love their business 24/7, they either think, one, “Oh, no. There’s something wrong with me. There’s something happening. I’m not like everybody else. Everybody else seems to love this stuff. This seems to be easy for everybody else. It seems to be working for everybody else.” Or we think, “I have to change directions and I’ve got to do something different.” And that leads to a not so successful business because you’re constantly moving things around, not sticking with things long enough.

I think that’s the part that comes up for me the most often when I see people doing this, like “This didn’t work for me anymore, so I abandoned it.” And I always think, if you had stuck with that program, like maybe you were disappointed that only five people purchased your thing so you abandoned it, if you had stuck with it, what could it have become?

And, of course, I am not saying that we should stick with everything. There are many times when it makes sense for us to say, “You know what, this doesn’t work for me anymore. This is not aligned.” Of course that makes sense. I just also see it being tossed around. That’s kind of why I brought up that Is Therapy Making us Selfish article because it reminds me of if something just doesn’t feel good for a moment, we just toss it without any consideration to other people, or the impact, or any of that kind of stuff.

I think that as an industry we’re doing people a disservice by making it seem also like you just can’t have a good idea, a really good business idea or create a really, really smart product that actually helps people. And you love the outcome of whatever your product or service brings to people, but that you might not be so obsessed with the work 24/7. I think that there are a lot of really smart and successful businesses out there that are built on products and services that I imagine people don’t feel like they’re the most soul aligned because they’re just so lit up and excited by them.

Sometimes businesses are built because somebody had a really good idea and they created a product that really works. And I just don’t understand what’s wrong with that. Like, why isn’t it okay for entrepreneurship or your business to be a job? Why do we always have to put a lipstick on a pig? I don’t know. I think you can create a product and you’re like, “Dang, this is a really good product. It really helps people. So, I feel like this is super in integrity. I feel really strongly about this product. This product works. I feel happy to talk about it. I feel I love what the outcome is, that it brings people the transformation, the positive benefit. I love that.” But it’s a job and that’s okay. Maybe you feel lit up in other areas of your life to the point that your business doesn’t have to be the thing that lights you up.

So, take me, for example. I am admittedly annoyingly obsessed with what I do with being an entrepreneur, with business, with marketing. I’m obsessed. I think about it constantly. I’m very open and honest about this. I literally wake up in the middle of the night and I have a million ideas for content and strategies and funnels, and everything in between, businesses, inventions, all kinds of stuff. My mind is very, very active in that sense.

And there are days, there are entire seasons when this still feels like a job. There are days when I’m like, “Whoa. This is a CEO day.” I feel like a CEO. It’s rough. You get some rough stuff that happens. You have to deal with some financial stuff. You got to deal with legal stuff. People are copying you. You have employee stuff. You have team stuff. It’s like, whoa, this is a job. It’s not always soul aligned. It’s not always lighten me up. I’m not like, woo hoo all the time, right? Not because I don’t love my customers.

Or even the individual tasks that I’m doing, 123 episodes, and I’ve not had a day where I’ve not felt excited about podcasting. I’ve never had a day where I’ve not been excited about writing. But that’s not my whole job. And it’s just dishonest to tell you, “You have to love everything about your business. If it’s not working for you, get rid of it.” It’s like, “Wait. You can’t get rid of it. You run a business. You have to do legal. You have to do financial. You have team stuff. Stuff comes up. Every time something doesn’t align with you, you can’t just fire everybody.” So, it’s just not realistic to tell people that.

And, of course, I get frustrated when I feel like something’s not working. I get frustrated a lot. Like, I think once you’ve been in business for a long time, you can get really frustrated that things aren’t working the way that they used to because you’re like, “Damn it. Why can’t stuff just work the way they used to? We had a system. It was working.” But now the algorithm changed or the market changed or this thing changed, and it’s annoying. And I just feel that resistance to all the change, it’s annoying.

And then, I have my moments where I’m like, “Yeah. This is a job and it’s going to evolve and it’s going to change over time. Thank God.” Because it would probably be so boring if I was doing the same thing today the same way that I did back in 2016. And I think it would also mean that I never learned anything, which would be really sad. And I might not love every single change, just like I wouldn’t if I was in a corporate job. But overall, I get to control and dictate the outcome way more than I would if I was in corporate. Like I know for me now, working for somebody else, I can’t imagine myself ever going back to working for somebody else. I mean, I guess you’re saying never say never, but I really can’t imagine it. I really, really love owning my own business.

I just wish that you didn’t only hear the messaging about how loving your business meant loving it all the time or not being frustrated with any parts of it. And my husband, Ryan, always says to me, When you really love something, you should be able to offer feedback. Really loving something doesn’t mean that you can’t ever criticize it. Or really loving something doesn’t mean you have to accept it in its entirety the way that it is. When you really love something, you can also be like, “I wish that this part was a little different,” or “I don’t like that part so much,” or “Right now I’m not loving it. But overall, I know I love it.” And that’s okay.

And this is why I was just saying to my friend the other day I think the reason I love podcasting, by the way, is because in social media world, it feels like everything, there’s always just such a pressure on being quick, and to the point, and be fast, and they have their own limitations on the app to do that. But then, also, people penalize you if it’s not, like, a five second reel or something like this, it doesn’t perform as well. And I just always feel this pressure and sometimes it’s difficult.

I am one who likes long form content. And one of the reasons I like long form content is because we can get into deeper conversation. We can talk about nuance in social media. There’s just no room for nuance. I feel like everything I say, I’m like I got to spit it out and then there can’t be any caveats, and that’s tough. So, I really love being able to have this conversation with you because we can really kind of dig in to what I’m talking about here.

So, to me, the biggest area of nuance here is that there’s a difference between integrity and being passionate about something. So, of course, of course, I am saying that you should always be honest. You should always feel good about what you’re selling in the sense that you don’t feel like you’re selling snake oil. You think this thing really works. You believe in the process. You believe in the outcome. You feel confident that what you’re telling people can get them the outcome. Of course, that they have to put in the work and all of that kind of stuff. But in general, you feel good about it. You know that there’s value. And you really have to work on that over time.

I don’t think that for all of us that comes immediately or naturally. I remember when I started the Ultimate Bundle and when I started selling legal templates, I was like, “These are really good. I know that they’re really good. And I know that somebody would go pay thousands of dollars for these if they went to an attorney.” But I was struggling with finding my own value in charging for what I did. And that was something that had to come over time.

And I think it really helped to hear back from so many customers who would purchase something and then be like, “Oh, my gosh. This helped me so much. I love this so much. I love being in the Bundle.” I mean, people tell me all the time, “I would have paid twice as much for the Bundle if I knew how much was in it and how much sigh of relief it brought me,” and all of this kind of stuff.

So, once I started hearing that more and more, I had to work on really accepting that, and building up, and feeling confident about the value in what I was selling. So, of course, to me, you should always have that part. We should always be working towards that and feeling good. And, of course, it goes without saying that whatever we’re doing should be honest and forthright and all of that kind of stuff.

At the same time, though, where this gets twisted up with passion is that it’s like, “Oh, you have to be super passionate about it.” And I don’t know that you always have to be passionate about the actual product or the service that you’re selling. I think you have to be passionate about the outcome or the desired result, whatever you’re helping people, maybe the transformation. So, you know, I always say some businesses are just a really good idea. Some products or services, they’re just a really good idea. Somebody comes up with this, they see a hole in the market, they plug it, and it’s like, “Wow. That was so smart.”

My DIY legal templates business, for example, great idea, great product, fantastic product. Thousands and thousands of your peers have purchased my stuff. They love it. Amazing. I’m so, so happy about that. Am I passionate about downloadable legal contract templates? Absolutely not. I will be the first person to tell you that. I’m not ashamed to tell you that.

You know what I am passionate about, though? I’m passionate about helping people to start and grow their own businesses. That they actually feel like they can launch and promote because they’re legally covered so they feel confident enough to talk about it. I feel like a business doula. You know, we talk about this all the time as a team, like we get to help people essentially birth businesses because they’re either holding back on something, or they’re not scaling, or they’re not putting out a program because they’re worried about the legal implications. And then, if my stuff is what makes you feel like you can go out and do that, then that is what I’m passionate about.

But do you see how, like, I don’t have to be passionate about my legal templates themselves? They can be the vehicle that brings you closer to what I am really passionate about. And, truthfully, it’s not about creating a business that I’m really passionate about that, yes, I have to feel good in the integrity and my legal templates are very good. And I’m a lawyer, so I’m not masquerading as something I’m not or whatever.

But at the end of the day, my products have to be designed with you in mind, what do you need, what’s the most helpful thing to you. That’s what I have to think. What kind of business are you building? What kind of legal protection does that kind of business need? What kind of stuff do your contracts have to say based on the kind of business that you’re building? That’s what I have to think about.

Does this make me super excited? No. It’s not about me. I’m going to be super excited when you start a business, whether it’s about gardening, or money, or life, or fitness, or whatever it is. If you’re happy, if that business feels exciting to you to start, then that’s what makes me happy. You see how there’s such a big difference there between just thinking about it from my own point of view.

So, you can be passionate about the outcome that you bring people, but that doesn’t always mean that you have to create an offer that itself is like, “Oh, my gosh. I wake up every day and I can’t wait to do this thing.” So, on the one hand, like I said earlier, you do have to believe in your offers and be what I would call “excited” about them. But I actually think that that has more to do with feeling proud of what you’re offering and believing that it works.

So, when you sell something and it feels off for you, that will directly translate to your sales. So, if I disliked legal templates or contracts or law or anything like that, that would show. I like all of those things. It’s just that I’m not here being like, “Oh. My number one hobby is writing legal templates. I write contracts in my free time.” No. No. Who does this? I like all those things. I nerd out. I think the law’s incredibly interesting. Obviously, I went to law school. I became a lawyer. I think it’s incredibly interesting.

But I feel like what is the easiest for me to be able to get up here and talk every single day about legal contracts and website policies and the Ultimate Bundle is the fact that I feel really proud of it and I really believe in it. I really believe after working with thousands of people that not having legal in place can really hold you back. I believe that because I’ve seen it, so I have enough to believe in now.

And I really also believe that if that kind of stuff is getting in your way and you get legal taken care of, I have seen the kind of growth that can come from it because people will finally start putting themselves out there more and marketing their businesses.

And so, I feel really confident and proud of my product itself knowing that it’s good, feeling really, really solid about that and knowing it’s the best legal program in the industry, and all that kind of stuff. And then, I feel really confident about how much it’s going to help you, how much you’ll like it, all of that. And that’s where I’m “excited” about getting up to talk about my stuff. The excitement doesn’t have to be in the legal template itself.

I think what’s really exciting to me is knowing that you’ve created a solution to your customer’s problems – and you probably are very similar that’s why you’re in this industry – and somebody who really loves to help people and I like to feel useful. I put a lot of my own value in being useful to others, helping others. And so, it makes me really, really pumped to be like, “I’ve created this thing for you. You have this problem, here’s this thing, it’s super easy, here’s how you do it.” And that makes me very excited knowing that if I could make your life a little bit easier, that makes me get up every day and talk about what I do.

I’m so curious to hear your thoughts on that. If this is like a shift in perspective, maybe you disagree. Of course, that’s okay. I’m just so curious.

But I also wanted to chat with you about this idea about loving your business all the time. Maybe you go through a season where you’re having offers and programs that you do feel like, “No. This is so aligned. I feel lit up, plus I feel good about what this service is doing for other people.” But, also, if it hasn’t happened yet, I feel pretty confident – and maybe you’ve already gone through this – that there will be a season where your business is not the thing that lights you up anymore. And maybe it’s a season, maybe it’s temporary.

My friend Athena and I were joking the other day that we’ve been in a season for years, so we’re like, “How long do these seasons last?” But we were talking about something else, not business. But yeah, there are seasons where your business might not be your priority too.

And I think that a lot of this comes from this pressure, both are our own pressure, both are internalized pressure, but also pressure from the industry that we should always be in growth mode. And if you’ve listened to my podcast before, I have a podcast Episode Number 32 about not always having to be in growth mode. And we don’t only not have to be in growth mode, we also don’t have to always be in love mode with our businesses.

If you’re building a long term business, you’re building a long term relationship. And anyone who’s been in a long term relationship will tell you that it doesn’t always feel the same. It’s not always the same sustained level of love. You go through periods and you come back to it, and you go back through a period and you come back to it again.

So, there are seasons where you might start to say, “You know what? This business doesn’t define who I am anymore. This isn’t what’s going to bring me happiness.” And I think that’s sort of where the business starts to feel more like a job. I don’t know that that’s necessarily a bad thing. You can love your job. I think we all like demonized jobs. There’s a lot of talk in entrepreneurship about how terrible it is to have a job. There’s nothing wrong with having a job. There are people who like their jobs. What we get mixed up with is corporate, and misogyny, patriarchy, all these other issues that are related to terrible careers, mistreatment and discrimination, and all of this. But you can have a job that you like and that’s okay if that’s your business.

But I also think that this is what starts to happen. I was just having this, like, amazing conversation earlier with my friend about how I think this is something that starts to happen when you’re not defined by your business anymore. I think that when you start out, your business is your business baby, and it’s usually a reflection of yourself. A lot of people reflect themselves in their branding, in their messaging. If you have more of a personal brand type of business, you’re sharing your life content, it becomes very much about you.

And I remember I used to be very much defined by my business. And every stat, and every promo outcome, and every growth in subscriber, et cetera, was, well, either thrilling or devastating. And if it was thrilling, it was thrilling for a second because I would obsessively check things and then I would feel good or bad based on what I saw. So, I’d check my email list, subscriber count, and I’d be like, “Oh, my gosh. I added ten people. This is amazing.” And then, I check at the end of the day and I’d only added one more person and I’d be like, “Now, everything’s terrible. Nothing’s ever going to grow.”

Now, I don’t feel so attached to those results, to the figures, to all that kind of stuff. I care immensely. This business is one of my biggest priorities, my biggest priority probably in my life, if I’m being honest. But I don’t dictate my life off of it. And I know also that I’m much more than my business at this point, and at least that I want to be. I think for me, at least, that the goal is for me not to be defined by my business, not to be thought of as the business or some personal brand. It’s like, This is my business, it’s over here, and then there’s me. And we’re two totally separate things.

I always joke with people that this is one of the things I love about actually forming your business on the legal side, because when you form an LLC, for example, you get this thing called personal liability protection, which is what separates you as a person from your business. And I always say that there’s a double dip effect of that of, first, legally, that’s super important so that you’re not personally liable for things in your business. But on the other hand, kind of the mental image of that, that you are not your business. You’re separate from it. And that’s a good thing. I think it’s really healthy.

So, I noticed for me this started to develop over time as I became more comfortable and confident that things would work out. Where, even if a promo didn’t go well or I lost a little more subscribers than I thought or followers than I thought or whatever, you go through enough iterations over time that you’re like, “Oh. They came back,” “Oh. The next promo went better,” “Oh. I ended up gaining more people here,” “Oh, this ended up working out.” And I think once you go through enough of those cycles, you realize like, “Oh, okay.” So, next time something bad happens, I realize it’s just a blip on the radar and things will kind of come back up just like a roller coaster. And I’m just in that part of the cycle now, so I see it much more for what it is. And I would also encourage you to think about this.

I remember in the beginning for the first two, three years, or something like that, I remember business would get slower and then get busier and then slower and busier. Now, it’s like very, very consistent. But that was not the case for a long time. And every single time it got slow, I was like, “This is it. It’s over. Pack my bags. I’m done. I’m going to have to go get a job,” you know, blah, blah, blah.” And then, it would be like, “Oh, what do you know? It picked up again.” But then, when it would pick up again, I’d say, “Well, it’s probably going to slow down again.” And inevitably it would. And what do you know? It would pick up again.

And what I started to learn was two things. One, I was like, chill out. Because, you know, when you’re in these downtimes, you should just start taking this time as time to rest up and restore and gain some energy back, get some creativity, kind of ramp up, do stuff more behind the scenes. So, when like sales would get a little slow, I would buckle down and start taking care of stuff behind the scenes. I would start working on my systems, working on my processes, working on the back end stuff, the big picture stuff.

And then, when it would get really busy, I was like, “Okay. We got to take advantage of this momentum, and now we got to ride this roller coaster and see this through.” And so, I started to know that these were just natural periods and, that way, it was just to be expected. I think that was the first big experience, like having enough of those back to back to back to back, that I started being like, “Okay. This is normal. It always comes back.”

So, now, whether it’s that a promo didn’t go exactly the way I wanted it to or I didn’t gain as many subscribers this month or not as many people download the podcast, I’m like, “That’s okay. It’ll come back. It always comes back.” So, you just learn to ride that. And I think with riding that and learning to ride these little dips and blips and all that, you start to detach yourself from this, meaning something about you, from overanalyzing it, looking at it all as feedback about something that you’re doing wrong, like “No. It’s just part of the system. This is just how it goes.”

So, there might be a season when you just don’t love your work or you might have a season when you just don’t love your business or your business just isn’t your priority right now, and that’s okay. It’s okay. That could be the little down part of the roller coaster too. It always comes back up.

So, I hope that this episode was helpful to you. I’m going to drop the links in the show notes to Episode 32 about not always having to be in growth mode. I’ll drop that bustle article about therapy speak or not. It’s really quite an interesting article. But I really hope that you liked this episode.

If you want to make sure, by the way, that you get my legal tips in your inbox each week – every single Thursday I send my email list a legal Q&A question. You get to submit a question to me, I answer it to the list. And then, my Monday emails are always filled with stories and behind the scenes building advice of what’s going on so that you can apply this to your own business and market your own business in a better way – you want to go ahead and tap the link in the show notes for the easy email list sign up.

So, what that means is that you will start getting emails from me, but you won’t have to go through a marketing funnel to get them. So, you can go click the easy email list sign up link in the show notes, put in your email address, and then you will start getting my weekly emails right away. I think you will really love them. I know for me I really love getting a handful of emails that I really like and that are really valuable, and it helps me to like tune out social media a little bit more, tune out the noise. So, I definitely would invite you to hop on my email list below.

So, with that, send me a DM with your thoughts. I always love hearing from you. Please let me know if you’ve loved the show. Wherever you listen to the show, if you like the show, make sure you leave a quick rating or review on Apple or Spotify. I so appreciate it. Thank you so much for listening and I can’t wait to chat with you later this week.

Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms Podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business, at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram, @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.

Just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services. But I think I offer some pretty good information.


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Resources Discussed in This Episode

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  • Kajabi // use Kajabi to sell your course, program, or even build your entire website. Get a 30-day free trial with my link.
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  • ConvertKit // what I use to build my email list, send emails to my list, and create opt-in forms & pages

DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and isn’t intended to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.

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