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The lesson from the failure of my first business

1 February 20222 mins to read

Today I realized what the failure of my first business brought me.
In general, I have this super deep trust that whatever happens, it’s an opportunity, a lesson, a gift. Even when initially, I don’t see how. Even if my experience is unpleasant or painful.

Almost 5 years after I stopped with my first coaching business, I still didn’t see how this “failure” helped me or what was the positive it brought me. The contrary: I needed quite some mental preparation before I was ready to start my second coaching business, because my fear of failure was bigger.

And then today, out of nowhere, it became very clear to me! I made a connection between the failure of my first business and the failure of my first attempt to stop smoking. I was smoking for 10 years, when I decided that it is time to stop. I managed to quit for 2-3 months, when my mind got a little bit too relaxed and whispered “You are not smoking anymore. Now you can just enjoy one cigarette every now and then, without going back to the habit.”. I liked this idea and with a cup of wine the same evening, I smoked a cigarette. In two days, I smoked a cigarette with my coffee, then the next day I smoke two cigarettes, and within a week, I was back to smoking a package a day.

I have put so much will power to free myself from this addiction and all this was lost, the moment I’ve lit up one innocent cigarette. Also, my own confidence that I can stop if I want to, has crumbled, and made me doubt if it is possible to ever get rid of this habit. I’ve learned a lesson: if I want to stop for real, I should never smoke again, not even one cigarette and I should avoid the moments my desire to smoke is strongest.

So, a year later, I decided to give it another try. This time, trying to not repeat my previous mistake. To make it easier, I’ve decided to remove from my life the strongest smoking temptations – coffee, wine, partying. So, for few months I stopped them too. Every time the thought of “just one toke” appeared in my mind, I would chase it right away, knowing that this would be the beginning of smoking again. This way, 9 years later, I am still not smoking.

Going back to the business: 13 months ago, I started again my coaching business. I had to put much more effort than the first time to overcome my fear of failure, my impostor syndrome and to get myself ready to face challenges and mean comments.

In the difficult moments I face now, before even the thought of quitting appears, I bring up “my why” - why am I choosing for this path, and I remind myself the lessons from giving up my first business:

  • How painful it was to feel that I’ve failed not because I was not good enough, but because I gave up.
  • How in the time between the two businesses I was constantly feeling on the background that I was wasting my time, by not following my mission and not sharing my gifts
  • How persistent the urge to coach was but how terrified by fear I was

And comparing the image of this bitter past experience with the challenges I am facing now, I am choosing the challenges. I summit my determination, perseverance and creativity and I find my way further ahead. So, the failure of my first business brought me more determination and higher level of tolerance for hard work, delayed results and a little bit of a slow growth.

This story only confirms my deep knowing that everything which happens to us is a precious gift – an opportunity to learn, to grow and to give!

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