This past week has been a bit surreal for me. After eight years of being the CEO of Live Well 360, my co-founder (and ex-husband) and I sold the business to two great guys from New Jersey that are just as passionate about health, fitness, and quality gear as we are.
Although we both still hold big dreams and hopes for the company, this decision was one that we're both confident will be best for each of us, as well as, the future of the brand.
Saying that makes it all sound so easy breezy. Let me tell you, it was not easy breezy.
Leading up to this past week, I've experienced all kinds of emotions -- frustration, fear, resentment, hope, contentment, powerlessness, discouragement, eagerness, doubt, worry, optimism, overwhelm, and oh yes, more overwhelm, impatience, belief, positive expectation, anger, compassion, and enthusiasm. Whew, talk about a roller coaster.
Since the sale finalized, I've been bouncing between pure bliss, happiness, relief, and peace to an overwhelming desire to go take a nap.
But you know what? Every one of these emotions are okay. They were each a part of the process, part of me expanding into the woman I need to become in order to handle the next chapter.
Onward, to the next adventure and more time and energy for my clients and my ROCK Your Dream Body brand. I've got a lot of fun projects in the works.
In the mean time, I thought I would share nine "ahas" that this wild ride of starting, growing, and selling a business has helped me to realize about life.
I started the company when I was 27. My perspective has changed so much since then. Hopefully my aha's will help give you clarity in your own endeavors and life or business challenges you may be facing.
9 Lessons I Learned About Life Growing and Selling My Business
1. What you want in the beginning is often different than what you later realize is what you REALLY want.
We learn so much from experience. I remember setting a goal to be a millionaire by the time I was 30. Then 30 rolled around and I wasn't even close. That was disappointing.
Then something happened in my early 30s and I realize that chasing a number in a bank account didn't really mean anything to me. Yeah, having a lot of money seems like you'd have a lot more freedom and less stress. But in truth, it also means a lot more responsibility.
You think Donald Trump is stress-free just because he has millions of dollars? No way.
I'm still up for the possibility of a million dollar bank account someday, but I'm not attached to it. To me, abundance isn't just about hitting some arbitrary number so that I can then tell myself that I have made it.
I know now, that if I continued to chase that million-dollar pay out, it would probably never be enough. Once I hit a million, I'd need two million. Once I hit two, then I'd need five.
Instead, I set my goals based on how I want my life to feel today. What creative endeavor would I MOST love to spend my time on today? Goals set based on how you want to feel are so much more satisfying when you achieve them.
(The book The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte was hugely inspiring to me in making this shift.)
2. An unhappy journey never leads to a happy ending.
This is my favorite saying. I first heard it from Abraham-Hicks several years ago and have carried it close to my heart ever since.
Somewhere along the way, we are taught that success needs to be hard and full of sacrifice in order for us to deserve the end-goal when we achieve it.
Well, not in my book.
I believe that it's not about working harder, it's about working smarter.
We spend so much time trying to follow everybody else's rules. Why not just create our own?
For the longest time I used to be shy about telling people that I wanted my life to be like a vacation every day. Yes. Every. Day.
I was afraid they would judge me as lazy or tell me that's just not realistic. And my response to that is, "Realistic by what standards?"
When I say a vacation, what I mean is that I want every day to be an adventure, to be fun, and to wake up excited about what I get to do that day.
I don't think that is lazy or unrealistic at all.
I truly believe the more fun I have along the way to wherever I am going, the better the results will turn out.
Plus then I am not missing out on life now for some possibility of a better life (whatever that means) at some point in the future.
3. There is no finish line, so quit pushing yourself so damn hard all the time.
Of course there are going to be times when you need to hustle and get stuff done, but a constant state of hustle to the max x10 isn't realistic or sustainable.
The reality is, there will always be more to do. In fact, your to-do list is (and always will be) never-ending. So learn to be okay with that.
As a society we need to stop measuring ourselves against the yardstick of hard work and instead measure ourselves against our quality of life.
How much love and connection do we have?
How many incredible friendships?
How healthy are we?
How much fun are we having in our creative endeavors?
That's what matters. Prioritize your priorities.
Taking time to live life will only inspire your work.
4. Discover who you are, beyond your job title.
We tend to get really attached to our job title. We intertwine our self-worth with our performance, responsibilities, and accolades. But who are you if you take all of that away?
That's something to think about. It takes a lot of courage to own that you are a valuable human being regardless of your "job."
5. Sometimes you have to decide what you want, go after it, and then figure out the plan.
In all of my years starting and running a company, I've never had it all figured out before I started. I've made tons of mistakes, built plenty of planes as I was flying them, and I've always been able to figure it out.
That being said, there have been so many times when I have sat down with someone for an interview and they have asked me questions that made me realize... they think I am really smart. And, in my head, I'm thinking, "It's just me!"
I don't see myself as being super smart. I see myself as being resourceful and willing to go after whatever it is that I want to create for my life, no matter how crazy it seems.
We realize our true strength in the moments where we're the most scared.
Yes for sure there have been many times building this company when I've been scared! But that didn't stop me.
Fear is just an indicator. It means "pay attention, be aware." It means to make adjustments because right now, you're doing something that is not going to turn out well if you keep pushing and trying to force things.
Fear DOESN'T mean to flat out stop or turn back. It means take a deep breathe, take a step back, and get back in your power before you do anything else.
When you trust yourself to figure it out, whatever "it" is, then there's a lot less risk.
When you trust yourself, you can bet on yourself.
6. Your greatest control is in releasing the need for control.
I used to always need to be in control or else I was really really uncomfortable.
But then I learned how to lean back (into my feminine energy more) and not micromanage so much. This practice has paid off tenfold not only because I'm less stressed out, but because it helped me to tap back into my intuition more, rather than always relying on brute force and massive (sometimes unnecessary) action.
Trying to control everything is a fear-based way of living.
Releasing the need to control and realizing that you can be in your power and thrive in any situation is where the magic is at.
7. Surround yourself with people that will lift you higher.
This one is cliche, but it's cliche because it's true! We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.
One of my favorite business mentors from afar, Richard Branson, did exactly this. He surrounded himself with people that he believed were smarter than him.
He understood that trying to be the jack-of-all-trades is not how you create a powerhouse of success (in life or business).
You can't do and know it all.
Having people on your team that can take your idea and -- because they know more about this specific area than you could ever teach yourself -- make it 10x better, is how you create quantum leaps.
This is the true benefit of a mastermind.
8. Expectation breeds success.
When you expect yourself to succeed, you will. When you expect yourself to fail, you will.
Rather than spending all of your energy worrying about how things could go wrong, plan for things to go right. Use the momentum of positive thought and visualization.
I know this sounds woo-woo and airy fairy, but there is science behind it.
When you visualize yourself winning, you're more comfortable with the idea of winning. When you practice seeing things working out, you are open to opportunities that you wouldn't be open to if you are closed, contracted in worrisome thoughts.
People that are successful in any area of life didn't get there by doubting themselves. They go there because they expected themselves to win.
9. Failure is feedback. Period.
We hold ourselves up to this level of perfection that not never Superwoman herself could meet. I've "failed" hundreds, thousands of times. And I used to be REALLY hard on myself about it.
Now I just see it as an opportunity to adjust and make different decisions now that I have new information. In order to know what we want, we have to know what we don't want. Failure gives us this very helpful perspective.
A lot of businesses fail, not because the dream wasn't achievable, but because people give up on themselves or they don't see that it's simply time to pivot and adjust.
We look for super specific results and when we don't see them as quickly as we think we should, we think it's a lost cause.
What we don't realize is that there could very well be all kinds of positive results happening, leading us toward what we ultimately want for our life, but they just look a bit different than we think they should (with our often limited -- narrow -- perspective).
Trust that there are no wrong turns. Trust that you are always moving forward toward what you want, you just have to broaden your perspective so you can see the silver lining.
Because there IS always a silver lining.
Sheila Viers is a health and life coach.
Learn more about her programs and how to work with her: http://sheilaviers.com.
Follow Sheila on Instagram at https://instagram.com/sheilaviers.