A 180° turn and an emotional roller coaster– Episode 3 of 4 -
The first year was challenging due to a serious health issue suffered months before (something I did not consider relevant when opening the company), my productivity and focus were not as expected; at least not what I needed to cover the expenses of a new company in the middle of the most serious economic recession in the history of the province of Alberta, and even worse, to generate enough cash flow to replace the fixed income I had given up not long ago. This scenario was not considered in my business plan, how was it possible that I, myself, was the biggest risk factor for my company!
Repeatedly, guilt, frustration, and worry began to steal my sleep, as my decisions were clearly affecting my family's lifestyle as well. This opened the door to insomnia and, as a consequence, the postponement of a much-needed prompt recovery of my health. Things were not shaping up well and my objectivity was already sufficiently clouded to see the beginning of the end of the vicious circle I had fallen into.
At the end of this year of business novitiate in Canada, I received an unexpected job offer, which solved my financial worries, but at the same time generated a feeling of failure, because I knew that I would have to make decisions regarding my company. The tranquility of the financial security provided by a permanent job, brought a serious existential and professional crisis:
So, what was all the sacrifice and effort for?
This was it? I am not going to fight for what I want?
Is this fixed income essential for my family, or is it more a matter of pride and an auto sufficiency habit?
Wouldn't it be better to dedicate those 9-12 hours a day to my own business and produce the results I seek?
Why continue to generate wealth for other business owners and not for myself?
But why swim upstream when I can have a comfortable life and a prosperous career in the corporate world? If I already know how to do it, I can just continue doing it and not complicate my own existence...
These are just six of the sharpest questions I asked myself for days. My shock was such that even when I went to sleep, I kept questioning my capabilities as an entrepreneur, as a professional, and as a seasoned strategist.
For over three years, Eagle Business Coaching continued to operate on a part-time basis, which initially seemed absurd given the nature of the business. However, and to be honest, this figure was nothing more than the result of a lack of courage to shut the company down once I decided to return to the corporate world and accept a full-time position.
Weeks later (back in 2017), my clients were organically multiplying, taking over my "after hours" availability. Suddenly the nights got longer, the weekends got shorter and I had new reasons not to close the company. Eagle Business Coaching was self-sustaining – finally!
By now I was comfortable in the business coaching and consulting industry in Alberta. I had found my target market, I had defined my new professional profile, and my brand and I were growing synergistically. However, there was one thing that made me uncomfortable when I provided coaching services to entrepreneurs: my clients' personal lives were often the subject of discussion in the sessions. I have always been an empathetic, generous, and sensitive person, but professionally I grew up believing that "personal life does not enter the office, nor should work problems enter your home". This belief generated in my tension and deep questions about my professionalism for discussing these issues with them, guilt for knowing things I didn't want to know, etc. In short, the discomfort was extreme, but at the same time I could see the reflection that these events of a personal nature had on the performance of my clients' companies, which is why since 2017 I made the decision to prepare myself more with the sole objective of better serving my clients and being 100% present for them; that's how I got my first training in Life Coaching, which was a great decision. Those mixed feelings remained present for a while, albeit on a smaller scale. I had systematically learned to listen and guide them in the search for solutions and answers that would foster their growth personally, in their business, socially, or even spiritually. Humbly speaking, the results were substantial.
At this point, you may wonder: so, were you finally dedicated full-time to Eagle?
No, not yet. I had established a new comfort zone for myself, and I liked the security, growth, and contribution that I was able to achieve from it. I refused to let the full-extend of my work destabilize me and pull me away from that warm, safe, and cozy hybrid sphere that I built for myself. However, my evolutionary spirit knew that the time to go back up on the cusp of a mountain, like an eagle, and decide to grow up was approaching.
Ana-Maria Ortega P.