“What is the secret to success?” I used to hang on every answer of entrepreneurs who, in my eyes, had succeeded. Their advice was nothing new: “Get clear on what you want, write down your goals, and do everything in your power until you reach your dream.” For a while at least, your health and happiness are to be sacrificed for the greater goal. Well, my journey has been a little different and has certainly flipped this concept of paving your own sweet path.
I launched Bowern one and a half years ago, with a lot of enthusiasm and a desire to inspire a generation of yogis with eco, luxury yoga mats. My TV career at the time offered zero intel into how to launch a company and create an inspiring brand. So, I wasted no time in scouring every online resource, book or networking event to hear how others had succeeded. What came next is no surprise: visualisations, goal writing, being seen, reaching out to others in the industry, being bold, hustling and then hustling some more, etc.
Brimming with all this advice, I went and bought a stick-on blackboard and wrote every single goal I wanted to reach within a six-month period. And guess what? A few months in, the goals were being crossed off with considerable enthusiasm. I was succeeding, but also driving myself into the ground.
Wonder why burnout is so prevalent in entrepreneurs?
My health took a slight turn because my desire to succeed became an obsession. Rest, enjoyment – these were mere words from the past. I became addicted to taking a piece of chalk and crossing out the next goal. I removed the fun factor from my business and chased after anything that would help grow my business. Sadly, I was doing exactly what I said I wouldn’t when I left the TV industry; I was stressed, anxious, and working to strict deadlines (all self-imposed). So, I let go.
Trust me, the words are easier to say than putting them in action.
The epiphany came one sunny day in July when I decided to set a new goal, “X number of Yoga Studios by the end of the week”. A few days passed, tireless emails, dial tones, non-interested studio managers, the list went on. I persisted until the tears came. I was exhausted from pushing, so I let it go. I rang the local massage parlour and booked a massage because my body was wrecked from stress and my mind was exhausted.
I let go, allowed my body to receive, and by the end of the day I signed up three of Sydney’s biggest yoga studios. How? The universe delivered because I let go. My masseuse happened to be best friends with the retail buyer of Sydney’s biggest yoga studio. Let it go.
This became my new norm. Why can’t succeeding go hand in hand with creating space, enjoying life and allowing unexpected opportunities to fall into my business’ lap? With this new philosophy, I held a vision, yet made room for Alexander Wang to approach us, and for Bowern Yoga Mats to be showcased at his 2016 Paris Fashion Show. If your intention is so focused on a certain outcome, you have no room for the amazing unexpected to enter. I never could have imagined a famous designer to approach a newly established Australia brand to be part of his fashion show.
These are my tips on how you can achieve more success by letting go.
Get crystal clear on what it is you desire. Do you want five more customers this week? Do you want an editor? Do you want your product stocked in a store in a certain suburb? Do you want to attract a certain client? Visualise the goal, feel the goal in your body, and write it down. Clarity is the only way forward.
Understand why you desire this goal. Is it to grow your business? To help people? To offer a service? What is the reason behind this goal? Your success will come to you faster if you are clear on this component and if it aligns directly with your clarity.
Do something bold
Show the world you are serious about the goal. Unfortunately, you can’t just write down a goal and expect it to be delivered to your doorstep. You need to demonstrate your ability to be bold, face fear and believe in yourself and your brand. Every time I’ve been bold and faced a fear, or taken a leap into the darkness, the rewards are incredible.
The hardest step in the entrepreneur journey. Let the goal and desire go. Stop thinking, stop trying, stop pushing, stop directing, and stop doing. You need to let go of how the goal will unfold, you need to allow all options to be let go, because I guarantee, you cannot imagine the incredible ways your goal will come back to you and the shape success will take.