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What I have learned about being a small business owner in 2 years

Updated: Dec 24, 2022

Snow covered trees in our front yard after a snow storm in mid-December 2022

In the spirit of winter, slowing down how we do things is necessary. Slowing down allows us time for reflection, and from reflection we can gain valuable insight into our own thoughts, habits, choices, and stressors.

Taking time to think about my year while I sit in near silence with my snoring dog at my side, I gain introspective practices that actually help me to be strategic by slowing down.

December 2020 was when I completed my yoga teacher training with 612Jungle and grew so much from it, that I was inspired to share what I learned with others. That was when I created Constant Motion LLC.

In the early spring of 2021, I began to include my doula services into my small business. I can really share so much about how it started out and how it's going! I really didn't know how to price my services. Let alone, how to manage all of the content development from social media, to newsletters, to playlists, to the words I'm saying, to a website while working a full time job and having a toddler to raise. The way I was doing things was very cringe. I learned the hard way about taking on too much and trying to build too fast. And my husband would agree that I could've slowed it down a bit! Seriously though, get yourself a strong support system if you don't already have one. My husband and some friends were my biggest supporters that I helped me make this jump into possibilities. I really wouldn't be at 2 years as a small business without them.

I was extremely ambitious and generous in the beginning, and maybe still sometimes today. Using that energy to get me through trying to manage it all. In the chaos, there were real moments of success for me. I never once measured my success on how many students or followers I had- and still don't. It was about how holding space for others made me feel. Getting compliments through tears, gratitude, smiles, and even DMs after hosting a class somehow evened out the chaos and concerns I had. Those were moments that filled me up in ways only emotions and a deep sense of gratification can. That was 2020 and early 2021. Let's jump to today- 2022.

2020 me in my multipurpose studio

There are so many ways I’ve learned about growing my small business within the past year. Now that I have fully made a transition from not working a full time job to mostly contract work, I have had to ease up on how much I want to build into my small business and really taking time to think about what makes sense for me.

I finally finished a course on entrepreneurship called Embodied Enterprise from Panquetzani earlier this year and was so relieved to get through all the material! But then, I realized what I had developed was during a different time in my life. In just a short amount of time, approximately 8 months, I had changed. With momentum ebbing and flowing when building out my content, I hesitated and felt like I had more questions than answers.

So I took a pause to pray about it. Which is why I didn't offer much of my yoga classes online in 2022. It has been a year of truly focusing on the load I want to carry and maintaining my mental wellness. That was in late spring through the fall. Now that it’s winter, the answers are coming in about how I am building my small business.

There are things I can share online that can be shared safely, securely, and respectfully. There are other things I need to be careful of, cautious of, and flat out avoid. I naturally want to do things the right way or in a good way. So I know if I am hesitant, there is something I need a little more time to think through. My bottom line for putting together content for my services is this. If there is any type of resistance, I need to stop and ask myself these questions before moving forward:

  • Is it necessary to keep?

  • What can I do in place of this that provides the same effect or impact?

  • Where do I feel the resistance in my body? Why might this be happening? What can I do about this or what are some practical next things I can work on?

Really sitting down and thinking through these questions lets me get into the weeds and the roots of what I'm doing. It's my way of being strategic. This is so important as an entrepreneur doing birthwork and yoga because I want to feel good about the content I put together.

2021 headshot I made with a timer on my phone's camera and draping a blanket behind me, natural lighting

Because I’m such a feeler and am sensitive to energy, I have to make sure what I’m receiving and giving are from a place of tenderness and deep care. I'm taking my time with placing information I’ve learned into my practice and care as a doula. I’m making sure that my clients feel held, supported, and that I am aligned with what I am sharing. Even if it means going slower than others in this work. I’m on my own timeline!

This is sacred work that does take time. Some things can and should be implemented immediately upon learning them. What I’ve learned over the years is that sacred work, however, is usually on its own time frame. And for me, where I’m at in this practice and in this knowledge, that pace is s l o w and constant, and intentional.

In the 2 short years that I have been running my small business, I have definitely expanded and grown. Offering yoga as a practice for others has really changed how I provide space as a doula. I have this skill of being a yoga teacher that can support me as the doula, make safe space for my clients, and give me some practices to share with clients for their wellness or in times of overwhelm. This is all the on-the-ground work. And the behind-the-scenes work is something I am constantly learning more about and improving. That will have to be a separate post!

SO if you have made it this far and are still reading this, I have some key points to highlight:

  • Grow at the pace that you can handle- both personally and in your business

  • Build your support system from the beginning and keep strengthening those relationships!

  • Give back to those who have helped you, maybe that is with a giveaway, doorprize drawing, free consultations, or discounted/reduced offerings for a specific time frame

  • Be strategic in your approach to the work how you develop content/services- for me that means being on my own timeline while also making sure things feel good

  • Define how you measure success in your work- for me that is said with emotions, words, nonverbally, and sometimes with a hug from my clients

  • Don't be so hard on yourself- Imperfection and mistakes are to be expected, I had some technology mishaps in the beginning of starting my business that would make techy people cringe! But that didn't stop people from wanting to come to my yoga classes or to have me as their doula because of the content, heart, and energy I put into what I was offering, that's why people showed up!

  • Take breaks- rest has never been so important to your health and wellbeing, so take the time to refocus, support your wellness, and to live life

Constant Motion Woman aka Pearl, is a Lakota, Dakota, and Anishinaabe full spectrum doula with a focus on postpartum education and support. She is also an Indigenous Lactation Counselor and yoga instructor.

She uses reflections, connection, and intuition to inform her work and how she shows up for families in their most sacred time. Learn more about her work on instagram @constantmotionwoman

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