One of my clients has some really ambitious goals for her business this year. But it’s taking her longer than she thought it would take to accomplish them.
She’s feeling impatient and wants to see progress NOW.
I’ve been thinking a lot about our capacity to hold space for what we want.
How long are we willing to hold it? How much time will we allow for it to happen? What are we willing to go through to make it happen? Are we committed to it being hard or easy?
I often think we make our “failures” mean that we are somehow flawed or behind schedule. This makes everything harder and MORE painful.
We think that others haven’t been through what we have or suffered like we have. We think that other entrepreneurs don’t have the same obstacles or that it didn’t take them as long as it took me.
But they have suffered. They have faced obstacles. And if you really knew how long it took for them to get where they are now, you’d probably be surprised.
When I started coaching, it took me almost two years to make enough money to cover my expenses.
I had a month where 3 of my premium one-on-one clients quit.
I launched a group coaching program and not one person joined.
I announced a coaching retreat and no one signed up.
I launched my Council of Visionary Business Builders three times over two years, and never hit my goal of enrolling 15 people per cohort – not once.
I joined a $10k mastermind that ended up being a joke. And then beat myself up for making a bad decision and not asking for my money back.
In the first two years of building my coaching business, I remember countless conversations with my wife and wondering if I should quit and go back to selling software.
I also remember making $170k and replacing my job income – and still feeling inadequate.
I meticulously planned a seven city tour of ‘Coaching Unconference’ events with a friend in 2020. Then …COVID hit. I haven’t done anything with the idea since.
In the past 8 years as a coach, I’ve held tightly to so many dreams, not knowing if they would ever come true.
This is all a dance.
We go for things we have never done before. At first, we fail at them. It usually takes us longer than we think it will. It often feels terrible. We go into fight or flight mode. We believe that failure, and all of the waiting and not having, will kill us.
But it won’t. Actually, it strengthens us.
It increases our resilience. It expands our ability to bounce back from failures. In fact, we will begin to see failure as a necessary part of the process. And we will get better with each experience. We will begin to see the opportunity in every setback. And we will find ourselves a little more prepared because we had to slow down.
We will approach each new opportunity with more wisdom.
And we will begin to appreciate the patience that’s necessary for building anything worthwhile.
When we arrive, we are the ones who believed in our vision long enough to ensure its inevitability.
We are the ones who understand that the number of failures increases our odds of winning.
We are no longer naïve.
We are patient enough to collect our wisdom and use it.
We know we are playing the long game.
We rest, prepare, and take intelligent action.
We are resilient… We are visionary entrepreneurs.
Failure is what we do. It is how we learn and evolve. We are always in the process of becoming the people who have what we want before we get it. We see the inevitability of our next achievement. Knowing that it might take a little longer than we thought.
And that’s okay. In fact, it’s what makes us better.