Jennifer Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement with her first book, “The Woman’s Comfort Book”.
I was thrilled to interview her as I read this book when it first came out in 1992 and was impressed at how she captured a real need in the women’s community.
She’s the author of 7 additional books on well-being and whole living and has been teaching retreats and leading workshops since 1992 and creating vibrant on-line communities and innovative learning experiences since 2000.
In this interview, Jennifer shares about her start as a screen writer and didn’t enjoy it.
She came from a family of entrepreneurs so it was a natural next step for her.
She shares about following the “threads in our lives,” and shares her own story in this context. She has now been in business for 24 years, at age 52 she has created a very successful business, very organiy, rather than planned.
Jennifer has spoken around the U.S., Canada and Europe, written a national magazine column for a Martha Stewart magazine, been profiled or quoted in dozens of major magazines, and appeared on hundreds of TV and radio shows, even on Oprah.
She has been teaching retreats and leading workshops since 1992, and creating vibrant on-line communities and innovative learning experiences since 2000. She married her second husband at 50, and is the very proud mom of Lillian and very proud bonus mom to Aidan.
Jennifer shares her wisdom for the listeners: “Find a way to touch in in to the felt experience of unstanable goodness and create your life and business from there. This is different from the place of ‘I have to give to myself or I have to fix something’. It is that place of wow- this is just unbelievably miraculous- this thing called life. How am I going to share it? It is a different and much more joyful touching with a felt sense – vast mystery of wholeness.”
You can connect with Jennifer here http://jenniferlouden.com/
If you are any kind of a coach, you have may started from that distorted idea of having the freedom to sit on a beach while getting paid $300 an hour helping clients on the phone (while working on your tan).
Don’t laugh. This is true. I thought this way at the beginning!
In the early days of “coaching” this was the hype out there.
But coaching is actually a skill and a tool that can be used in many businesses. It isn’t actually business in itself.
This might be a mind-shift for you if you are used to identifying yourself as any kind of coach; health coach, life coach, business coach, leadership coach, writing coach.
Just that identity will keep you on a cycle of constantly looking for one more client to help.
When that doesn’t easily happen you can feel like a failure and you wonder about those people who seem to have multiple 6-figure incomes from their coaching.
Here is the secret. Those people identify as business owners first and foremost, and the actual coaching they do, is only a part of their offerings.
One of my clients shared, “ Feeling incompetent is the worst for me since I always want to feel smart and successful. Being an entrepreneur is the most challenging experience ever. I’m not quitting and I believe in what I offer but the world of business is so different than the world of coaching.”
Running a business is hard work and will make you face yourself over and over.
When people identify as a coach and just wait for more clients, they don’t have a business. This is similar to someone being an artist and struggling to sell one more painting. Having an “art business” is a different mindset. There are some really successful art businesses, but artists struggle.
This same can be true for any of you who just want to do your thing. I’ve learned this after 40 years and multiple business ventures. I also began as an artist and therapist and now have a successful business- so I know the difference.
In my family therapy practice, I did have a 6-figure income mainly from seeing 1.1 clients and teaching workshops, but to grow larger I would have had to develop many more income streams, hire people to help me, build a reputation that allowed me to charge a higher rate, be paid for speaking gigs, and so on. In other words, I would have to develop a business, instead of being a therapist.
If you want to stop struggling to just pay your basic essential needs, and instead build a business that will allow you to shine in the world, be financially abundant, and make a bigger difference, it’s all about getting past your own self-doubt and your own tendency to stay small and safe.
It’s about being open to your power, your voice, and standing fully in that place of wisdom, authority, and strength that only you can do.
Without that, it doesn’t matter if you know your niche, or any of that. However, you do have to know who you are, and who you are aiming to help. Both are important.
I’ve been learning this truth since I began my first business when I was 26. Now I am 68 and it keeps getting clearer and clearer that it doesn’t help me or all the people I am meant to help- if I hold myself back. This is my mission and the real reason I am continuing to work when many of my friends are retired. I want to support you to really go for it. Only then can you actually utilize everything you are learning.
It does take stamina and focus to create a business that is profitable and many people hold themselves back and go around in circles.
You can follow your passion and also be a successful business owner, but it requires huge commitment.
Many visionary types have trouble with this concept. They aren’t focused on revenue generating activities enough. It becomes all about their vision and their passion. There is a way to do both but it takes a particular focus.
It could mean investing in getting help because your own eyes just won’t see beyond those blind spots. If you look at the most successful entrepreneurs out there; all the big name people, they all have had years of quality coaching and business help.
The mistake most visionary people make is to:
• Claim they can’t afford business help and instead stay stuck.
• Spend more money on training on their professional tools. ( thinking this is more important)
• Spend too much money on an expensive website before figuring out their marketing message.
• Operate without a clear plan or goals.
• Get side-tracked from revenue generating activities.
• Make decisions from a scarcity mindset.
Can you relate to anything on this list?
I did all of the above and it took me finding the right person to help me; someone who understood and would take me by the hand and lead me out of the hole.
Are you ready to face those parts of yourself and make the investment? The first step is to just chat with me. I listen and offer support. I can help you to see what your next steps are.
Just fill out the form below and you will feel great having taken one step closer to growing a real business.
I look forward to talking with you soon!
You are so worth it!
Melody LaBaron will keep your attention through this whole interview.
Melody is a truly gifted woman and offers a service that can help everyone to lead more peaceful and purposeful lives.
There are many people around who help people remove clutter, but Melody is trained in something called “Space Clearing,” which refers to the stagnant feelings, memories, and those intangible things that just don’t feel right in a home or office.
She calls is energetic clutter. When she was 35, and her mother was dying, she supported her though the process and helped her to create altars that altered the mood and helped her process.
Melody talks about how important it is to “focus attention,” and this will activate “intentions.”
In this interview she also shares about how to activate your abundance area of your home and what you can do to up-level your abundant intentions.
As a Professional Organizer, Space Clearing practitioner, Feng Shui consultant, and Success Coach, the question Melody LeBaron helps her clients answer is: In how many ways can the spaces you live and work in support your greater success?
For decades, Melody’s clients have cleared their homes and lives of everything that isn’t serving them, so that they can experience the success they deserve and become the leaders the world needs!
The oldest of 7 children, Melody has been creating order and beauty out of chaos since she was a little girl, and began organizing for others in her 20s.
Clients call her the “House Whisperer” because she senses the subtle energies that need to be cleared, and how each space longs to support those who live and work there.
Melody’s training in Feng Shui and Space Clearing have taught her what she always knew as an Organizer: when we partner mindfully with the spaces we live and work in, we increase the flow of abundance, health and joy in our lives.
Melody named her business “Transforming Space, Transforming Self” because you can’t do one without the other happening. She says, try these 5 easy steps, the next time you feel stuck and can’t seem to move forward:
- decide how much time you’ll devote to transforming your space: 15 minutes, a half hour, an hour
- chose a small unit of space (one shelf on a bookshelf, or one drawer, or one section of a counter or closet) that you’ll be able to complete in the amount of time you chose
- sort items quickly, tossing or donating everything that you no longer use or need or love
- organize what you keep in a way that’s functional and attractive to you
- over the next 24 hours, notice: after releasing what no longer serves you, do you feel more able to make decisions that move you forward?
My experience shows me that women who can say NO to what is no longer serving them can more easily create the inner and outer spaciousness to say YES to what they long to create in their lives!
If you’d enjoy support in the process of creating a home and workspace that functions efficiently and effectively, join Melody’s online community by registering for her FREE training “A Clean Sweep: 5 Ways to Partner Your Home and Life Purpose” at www.TransformingSpace.com
Last week I packed up my computer with my Wild Woman, and went on a writing retreat in a little cabin on this gorgeous Lake here in Oregon.
Being a visionary, I get most of my inspirations in nature. I am sure many of you are similar, and you find that this kind of environment supports your creativity.
I often talk about Wild Woman because she is such a huge part of who I am, that free instinctual energy that only thrives in an environment that includes things like forests, fire circles, common vision, Earth medicine, heart-sharing, and deep connections.
For a long time I thought that she didn’t have any place in the business world. I couldn’t imagine that someone who was into that kind of stuff, would know how to run a business and make money.
So, I left her behind and went full throttle into learning the businessy parts; systems, organization, marketing, and financial.
I got sick, literally. I learned all those things but it was at such a cost.
I got out of balance, stressed, overwhelmed, and stretched. I felt like I was in a cage. I was miserable and felt like quitting more than once.
I knew there needed to be another way, and how could I help other visionary women if I couldn’t find the way myself? I felt totally out of touch with the very things that help me feel alive.
So I back-tracked, and became more balanced again. I realized that Wild Woman is a mixture of soul wisdom and practical wisdom.
You need both parts to be fully alive and successful.
I was trying to do the practical part without the soul wisdom. I wasn’t listening to those deep places.
I let the fire go out in the fire circle, so she just got up and left.
Wild Woman won’t stay when there is no one keeping the fire burning.
Visionary entrepreneurs are a unique species because we are all Wild Women who are motivated by something deeply primal and we need to rely on our raw feminine instinct, when making our place in the world.
Colors, smells, inner knowing, and the song of our womb, provide the map forward toward our life purpose, our gift of service, our reason for being.
If you have ever become separated from that part ot yourself, you know what I’m talking about. You can feel like a starved Crazy Woman.
Some part of your very being knows exactly what you are meant to do. If you trusted this, you would find your way through the brambles, and rocks, and find your way back out of your maze or whatever has you trapped.
Gradually you would grow in strength, depth, and shine.
Like many women who have split their practical wisdom from their soul wisdom, I followed practical logic, developed, and jumped fully into learning the ins and outs of running a business.
Gina, one of my clients had positioned herself as a virtual assistant because, as she says, “I didn’t think anyone would be interested in what I really do (financial strategy). I thought nobody would pay for it. Even though assisting is part of what I do, it’s just not the biggest part of me .”
She stayed away from showing herself fully and attempted to build a business from something that felt safe but not her real passion.
You might be reading this and thinking you have done the opposite and lost that practical wisdom and have just stayed with your soul wisdom and have camped out permanently in the forest.
You’ve become friends with the birds and bees, and a have no use for practical wisdom if that means you have to be on the internet and learn all the technical stuff you hate doing.
But remember you need balance. I had to remember that too, so at the end of my four days, I packed up and came back to the city. If I hadn’t done that I wouldn’t have written this post and you wouldn’t be reading it.
If you are someone who has taken the mistaken path, the only path that seemed open to you at the time, and you have ended up in a place that isn’t allowing your Wild Woman to be in balance, it could be because of fears, confusion, self-doubt, or so many other reasons.
You might wake-up one day and ask yourself, “How did I get here? Why did this happen?”
It’s way less important to know the reasons why. What’s more important is to begin to see yourself in your truth, who you are, and what you’re meant to be doing. Recognizing how it happened is important only so you can go back and rescue that part of yourself who lost her way. It is never too late.
I can see this clearly now that I’m older and wiser, but I think all women entrepreneurs of every age, face this part of themselves over and over. She is the one who deeply feels the split, the severing of your two parts.
I now realize that all those pieces live in community and around the same fire circle. Both parts keep me healthy and whole.
Once you have this balance and have your fire burning strongly, you have the environment to really do the work to move your business into alignment.
If your heart is beating when you read this, you might be feeling like this split has been a huge issue in your business growth.
I’ve developed a process that can help women like you, bring this back into alignment. From that place you are unstoppable.
I’d love to talk with you. 20 minutes for free.
Just fill in this form and in the comment section tell me how you feel split, and how it’s affecting your business.
I look forward to talking with you!