In 2007, I founded what was emerging to be a successful kids yoga business. I picked up classes readily, hired 3 instructors to teach with me, and for the first time was bringing in a decent income from teaching yoga.
In 2009, I had my first of two failed business partnerships. The first partner financed the business, but there was no structure, so I was left operating in a vacuum. My second business partner did not agree with my choice to put my family’s needs before the business, and the relationship quickly crumbled. The business I’d started out of love and service was now only making me miserable. When your business is yoga and it’s not going well, it’s easy to lose sight of your original intentions.
Top three lessons I’ve learned from this experience:
1. Forgiveness and Acceptance. The past few years I’ve harbored so much anger and resentment towards my ex-partners and myself. I’ve worked hard to forgive myself for my bad choices, and forgive my partners for their reactions to what I’d chosen. Rather than continually bombard myself with the notion of forgiveness, it has been more helpful for me to accept the circumstances of what happened. When I’m able to accept, I open myself up to future possibilities and release resentments.
2. Relinquish blame. In any relationship, when things go wrong, it’s much easier to blame the other person. We’ve probably heard that the people who cause us the most conflict are often the ones we’ve chosen to teach us the lessons we need to learn. Rather than blame my business partners, this experience has taught me to look within, at the person I am and the person I want to be.
3. Let the ego go. When I began my business, I received praise from friends, family, and acquaintances. Peers saw me as a success and my ego was boosted. However, as I’ve moved on to new ventures and experiences, I’ve found myself feeling embarrassed and bashful telling others I am no longer fully invested in my old business. It’s been helpful and nourishing for my soul to remind myself that it’s not what we do – it’s HOW we do it that defines us.