I first heard this statement from my Yoga teacher (this fine person). It took me a moment to realise it was bang on. Then I felt compelled to reflect on my own discipline or lack thereof. Much to my surprise I was pleasantly pleased with what I discovered.
In deciding to make the move to Canada I was clear with myself and others that I would only be happy to do so on the basis that our situation would allow me to travel home several times a year or for one longer period per year. In my mind at that time this was only possible by setting up my own remote business. The issue being I didn’t have a business idea nor an obvious passion jumping to mind to embrace in pursuit of this aim. So I just tried some stuff.
Once I embarked on what transpired to be a rather delayed, slow, messy and far from linear move to Canada. I tried many different things and nothing seemed to grab me. In my mind it felt like failure. I also began to get frustrated with myself for seemingly not following through. I knew I wasn’t following through on any of the ideas because quite frankly they didn’t inspire me enough to even attempt to inspire anyone else; but it still felt shit to seemingly be no further forward.
In reflecting on discipline however I realise I did not quit or fail, rather I explored and I persisted in the face of struggle. Not finding the remote based idea that truly grabbed me was heart breaking in some ways. All too often I wanted to give up. At times I wanted to give up on Canada, visit a recruiter in the U.K. and take the easy route. But I didn’t. I looked for the next idea the next opportunity. Here follows a list of the ideas that came to the fore, a brief review of the work put into each of them and why I chose to walk away.
- Blooming Boundaries – remote work consultancy. I set up a LinkedIn page did some posts and local outreach. It bored me so much I couldn’t talk about it.
- Emma Davies – published articles and blog posts. I managed to get my first paid gig in less than a month which I’m told is pretty impressive. I sent out multiple pitches but it was too much time indoors and not enough interaction for me.
- Spinning Gold – this was a concept around creating unique product with local artisans. It’s another idea held in the idea bank. But it never really got beyond a concept on a page before fear of being tied to a location took over.
- Hyblyg – Yoga teacher and renamed my blog to this name too. I taught online during COVID it was a great excuse to get together with people but I was teaching the yoga I thought others wanted. I started to fall out of love with a practice that was instrumental to my sanity.
- Ello’ Guvnor – allergen aware cafe based in West Kelowna. I still think this is needed but I didn’t want to be tied to a physical location so far from the U.K. In hindsight perhaps could have gone for it and had it being run by someone else right now.
- The Yellow Book Room – ideas and book club. Didn’t even have a concept for generating money just wanted a focus. I lost interest very quickly. I still read loads of books though!
- The Sustainable Maker – online platform for local artisans and makers in the Okanagan. Still think it’s a solid idea and I have further better thoughts on such a concept but I did not want to be tied to an area on the Western side of Canada.
- The Happy Flock – business mentorship and advice for small and independent businesses. I’m doing it! But I’m doing it without pressure. I’m not pushing for fast growth but to speak to all that I love about small businesses, help as many of them along the way as I can. Perhaps expand the nature of what this is in future.
Am I at the end of the journey? I’m sure you can guess that the answer is – Hell no. But I have greater clarity. Each expansion of clarity came from taken messy action forward.
Others might progress quicker than you. But your process is yours. Sure that can include taking advice, and coaches can be a huge support in breaking through perceived blocks. I worked with an epic coach who helped me immensely (this guy in case you’re interested). But commitment to your own future vision and goals, and the discipline to keep taking action consistently even during struggle and uncertainty is your greatest tool.
But one key thing I have learnt in the ups and downs of the last few years is this. Life is a journey not a destination. Do not get so fixated on action toward the future goal that you miss out on the enjoyment of now. Life is about the people (and animals) that we love. Never just assume you get tomorrow. It was due to a series of close personal losses in early 2022 I deeply learnt how true this is, and it is due to this that The Happy Flock progresses with ease.
Find your sweet spot of maintaining consistent action toward your aspirations whilst also carving out time to spend with the people and animals you care about.
Discipline is the greatest form of self-care. That applies to all areas of life. Discipline to do the thing to achieve your goals in business and discipline to stick to those weekly cuppas or calls with your Mum or friend, or to protect Sunday lunches with the family.
Discipline to be kind to yourself and others in all areas of life.