Learning from Past Experiences to Build a Better Business
Whether we are aware of it or not, our past experiences play an enormous role in determining where we are today. Each choice, each decision, each success and each defeat has paved the way for us to continue to move forward on our unique journey in both our personal and professional lives.
It has taken me awhile to get here and the road has been filled with twists and turns, with bumps and detours. I remember three years ago, I decided to step away from what I call “pay the bill” jobs and to build something of my own. I’d always dreamed of having my own business and being able to inspire and help others while doing what I love and traveling to different places around the world.
First Learning Experience
My first company, “Moving Fit” was an online health and wellness company. I’d been working as a personal trainer, life coach and fitness instructor for years and wanted to expand my reach beyond one large facility and to travel while doing it. I decided an online business was way the way to go! I hired a company to build the website, the app and a tracking system to help with accountability. I was focusing on four simple but life changing concepts. Getting more sleep, exercising every day, eating more green food and practicing more mindfulness and gratitude.
I was so excited, had so many ideas but it took over six months and by the time the website was ready to go, I realized that it would take me quite a while to learn all of the computer skills to be able to manage and track my clients. There was a lot of coding involved and I am not a computer person. I felt overwhelmed and then life got in the way and I had to leave for France for two months. It was the perfect excuse; I decided to put it on hold. Looking back, I see that I let fear get in the way. I could have learned the system and started working on it in France. This was a great learning experience for me and I decided that my next business I would build the website and do everything by myself.
Which I did.
Second Learning Experience
When I returned in the fall, I started my second company, “Wholy Raw”, a line of organic, vegan, gluten free, healthy yummy snacks. I created the recipes and products, built the website, did the branding and got a cottage and a business license. I was ready to go. Before I knew it, I was selling my products in five different stores and spending my entire weekend making, packaging and delivering product. I was still working at the job that paid the bills and had no time for myself. I’d stopped putting the most important things at the top of my to-do list.
Ten months into this business, I realized that this wasn’t what I wanted to be doing. I loved the creative part of it, coming up with the recipes and doing the social media to promote it, but I found myself overwhelmed with all of the accounting, the profit loss and cost analysis spreadsheets. Sometimes it can be hard to let an idea go but I listened to my intuition and knew it was time to let go of this one.
Learning Experience in Progress
It’s easy for me to see how both of these businesses have been the best learning experiences I ever could have asked for. I’m so grateful that I tried different things and different ways of doing these things. I learned so much about myself and it’s brought me to the place I am today. I’m equipped with new knowledge, skills and confidence that I never would have had if I not for the ups and downs of creating my first two companies.
Four months ago, I started working on a new idea for a business. It is so clear that everything up to now has been preparing me for this. I have a vision and a plan but I am also open to the idea that this could evolve into something different and better than what I imagine.
As I go into this new business, I keep three questions in mind:
What would your life look like if there were no limits?
When you imagine a healthier, happier you, what do you see?
What are the things that really bring you alive and that you love doing?
I love moving my body, doing yoga, making and eating yummy healthy food and traveling, spending time by the ocean and in nature. I began to put the important things first on my to-do list every day: following my dreams and taking care of myself, mind, body and spirit.
As I become healthier, happier and more present in my life, I want to share this with others and help them achieve the same balance. I will be writing a blog on my website and posting weekly videos on my youtube channel. My videos will be about yoga, pilates, movement and stretching. I will also be sharing videos in the kitchen of my favorite recipes, everything from green drinks to raw chocolate. I’ll be writing about meditation, getting more mindful, present and connected to ourselves and our lives.
I hope you’ll come visit my new website: http://melissasnow.me. You can sign up to be notified when my youtube channel is live as well.
I truly believe that we are all in this together and have so much to learn from each other. I also believe that failure does not exist; when things don’t work out, it’s just life’s way of telling you to change directions and it’s a great opportunity for personal and professional growth.
Melissa Snow is an entrepreneur, certified yoga instructor and title analyst for a natural resources law firm. She danced professionally in France for over 15 years and has made Salt Lake her home base. She currently has two companies, Wholy Raw, a line of organic, gluten free snacks, and melissasnow.me, a way to inspire and share ideas with others about creating the life you want. She loves sunsets on the beach, long walks alone, meditating and spending time with her best friend and teenage son, Matisse. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.