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5 Life Lessons From My First Year In Business



This week, I'm celebrating my first year in business!

It's been an incredible journey, with so much personal growth.

In this episode, I share with you the 5 main things I've learned in this year, through some tough times, and I hope they will encourage you to pursue your dreams!


Transcript:

Welcome back friend!


This week I’m celebrating my first year being in my business full time and although it has been a wonderful experience, there have been many challenges that have come with it.

And you know, with challenges come some amazing opportunities to learn and stretch ourselves to become better and happier humans.

So this whole week I’ve been thinking about the things that I’ve learned in my first year of business and I wanna share it with you today.

And hopefully you can feel encouraged and learn from it.


Before I get to that though, maybe I can share a little bit about the backstory of how my business was born


If you haven’t been in my world for very long, I’ll give you a short version of my story.

I qualified as a dietitian 14 years ago, started my business in South Africa and worked in the paeds and neonatal ICU’s and saw many paediatric outpatients. What ended up happening was that I was seeing the moms of these babies and children a few years after seeing their babies.

Most of them came to me with similar issues, such as sticky weight, fatigue, poor mental health, poor sleep quality, pms, and so on.

I would give them perfectly calculated meal plans and during our follow-up consults, usually, there was not much change.

This process ended up being so frustrating to me that I left the industry.

Because I couldn’t work out why the plans that I wrote did not work.


Fast forward 5 years, after we’ve immigrated to New Zealand, I started experiencing some of the same symptoms that these women used to come see me with.

THe difference was though, that I knew I was doing everything according to the book.

I exercised 4-6 times a week and had a really balanced healthy diet.

But still my health was declining at a rapid pace.


And then, by the absolute grace of God, I met a naturopath, who is now a dear friend, who mentioned to me that she thought all my symptoms could be attributed to hormonal imbalance. And so long story short, for the last 12 months, I’ve been spending most of my waking hours, researching everything about women’s health and how our hormones affect us.

I was shocked that, when I implemented all of these new things I was learning about, my body healed at a rate that I didn’t think was possible!

And what was even more interesting, was the amount of women that talked to me about the change in my body and how they related 100% with the symptoms that I had previously experienced.

And then I realised that women needed to know these things!

There is a huge outcry from women, who are desperate for answers and who feel stuck inside of their bodies.

So in August last year, I handed in my notice!

It was very scary and I definitely felt like I was stupid for taking the leap, but I have never looked back.

I wake up in the morning totally excited to do this thing that I do every day.

And it’s incredibly humbling to know that I’m touching the lives of women across the globe and that women like you take time out of your day every single week, to listen to what I have to say.

So thank you so much for being here.


Ok, let’s jump into 12 things that I’ve learned over the last 12 months in business. These things are not related to business, but they are more life lessons and topics of personal development, but I believe that when we are open for personal growth, it will come through whatever channel is available.

So let’s dive in.


Number 1: Not many people will support your dreams.

In fact, you may even lose a few friends the day that you decide to take a huge leap to follow the fire that’s burning in your heart. Maybe it is because others wish they had the guts to do the same. But it certainly has not been easy for me to see many people drop out of my life the day that I’ve decided to do this thing.

Especially since my business is 100% online. It’s a foreign concept to many people and therefore they can’t relate to the unique struggles that come with it.

In fact, I’ve heard people make comments about how I run my business and where I decide to spend my energy.

And yes, it feels completely unfair that they feel they have the right to do that, most of them without having any inside knowledge of how I’m really doing.


But here’s a few things I’ve learned, and that I want you to take away from this today:


  • First, you don’t need an entire crowd around you. You need a handful of people that will support you as a person, no matter what journey you decide to take!

  • Secondly, people will always talk and offer their opinion, despite the fact that they’ve never walked a mile in your shoes, or don’t know your heart at all. You get to decide whether to invite their comments into your life or not.

For me, I know who the people are that genuinely love and care for me. I welcome all of their feedback all of the time, irrespective of whether it is positive or negative. The rest, I’ll listen, weigh it up, even maybe ask a trusted person’s opinion, and then decide to take action, or simply move on.

  • Thirdly, what people say to me and how they treat me, often has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the battles that they fight. I stopped taking things personally and I’ve started to focus on trying to see the pain behind the words and acts. This has helped me tremendously in that I don’t carry the weight around with me anymore. And I also use those opportunities to pray for people and the battles that they fight. No matter how well you feel you know somebody, there will always be a part of them that you won’t know. And it’s from that place that people often do things that make no sense to us at all. So once we understand that, it becomes so much easier to not take the weight of words and actions against us, upon ourselves. We can treat people with compassion, despite the situation.

  • And fourthly, you will be disappointed by people. But what you do with that is up to you. You have the power to choose to take offence, or take the high road and see things for what they are. Don’t take things personally and use it as an opportunity to grow as a person.


So in saying all of that, if people don’t support your dream, don’t let that make you step away from that dream. Find your handful of people that will support you and absolutely go for it! Remember, it’s not the things that you’ve done that you’ll regret one day, it’s the things that you haven’t done! So just go for it!

I’d be so interested to know what the dreams are that you have not been pursuing, because people have been telling you that it’s crazy or impossible. So please let me know. Go to my socials and send me a dm or just send me an email at wellness@vandghie.com. I’ll post that email address in the show notes. Sometimes, all you need is to share the things that you’ve been keeping in your heart for so long, and somebody that will encourage you to go for it!

And I would love to be that person!


Ok, moving on to number 2: We are all suffering in silence

I’ve been so sad to learn how many women are suffering with their health and wellness. And because they haven’t been able to find the solutions, they accept it as normal and suffer in silence.

But not only with our physical health, but mental health.

I’m not sure why it is that women feel we can’t talk about our mental wellbeing.

But it literally is the only way that you will find help and be able to move out of that place.

So I wanna really ask you today, find somebody you trust and share your struggles, no matter what they are.

Michiel and I have been going through some really tough financial struggles after covid pretty much stopped his business dead in its tracks about this time last year. It has been some of the toughest months, as I was also trying to build the business I’ve been dreaming of!

And all through those times, not many of our close friends knew about it.

I also felt like many people really wanted to know about it.

But I've realised through that journey that we need a village to be part of.

People that will carry us through the tough times.

So as a family, we’ve been making a very intentional effort the last 2-3 months to get involved in a community of people that can become our village.

It certainly has not been easy, as we’ve had so much heartache from people in the last 10 years.

But it is critical that we move past that and allow God to not only heal our pain, but plug us into a community where we can actually contribute and serve people with the gifts that we’ve been given.

So don’t do this on your own my friend, it’s just so much harder, if not impossible!


The third thing I’ve learned in this last year of business, is that vulnerability is a strength!

I love Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability. She teaches that vulnerability is the core, the heart, the centre of meaningful human experiences.

For many years, I was putting on a mask that showed I was ok, I didn’t need anybody, I didn’t need any support, I was strong.


And the only thing that this has led to, was shattered relationships.

Because there was no real point of connection with the people that were in my world.


Vulnerability can be such a scary thing. It’s when we step outside of our comfort zones and do things different to the mainstream. Or do the things that make us feel out of place. But it’s also the things that bring the biggest opportunity for growth.


Brene Brown teaches that vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. But when I run away the second those shaky, scary feelings arise, I’m reinforcing the voice in my head that says that I’m not good enough.


Resigning from the stability and security of my full time job had to happen alongside a huge chunk of vulnerability, but the personal growth that I’ve experienced in the last year has been so much more than I ever thought could be possible in 12 months.


So here’s my challenge to you today.

What is the thing that scares you, but you know deep down inside that you need to do it?

Are you able to voice that out loud to somebody that you trust?

Because that is the first step towards taking a big brave risk.

And let me tell you this, you will never ever regret it!

Go for it my friend, because you ARE enough!


The fourth thing I’ve learned in the last year is that growth is intentional!

It’s not something that happens by chance

It’s a choice that we make every day, to look past the emotions and embrace the learning.

This can be an incredibly humbling and difficult experience, but one of the most rewarding.

Personal growth is a choice that you make and a way that you live every day.

It’s the choice to not get caught up in offence

The choice to not get involved in small quarrels or unuseful conversations that break others down

The choice of personal growth can often lead to a lonely journey, and you need to brace yourself for that.

But the reward is so much better than the temporary comfort of fitting in

Also, the choice of embracing personal growth can make those around you uncomfortable and they can push back on the choice that you make.

But hang in there friend, soon they’ll all get used to you changing lanes and they’ll learn to feel comfortable with that.

If they don’t, you really need to ask yourself if those relationships are helpful and supportive


The last thing that I’ve learned in the last 12 months, is that we all need mentors that are selfless and committed to helping us grow for our benefit and not their own.

I’ve had some wonderful mentors in my life that I’m incredibly grateful for.

They’ve been brave enough to be honest with me at all times and willing enough to share all their years of experience and for that I’ll be forever grateful!

I would never have been where I am today without them.

And I think it is important to regularly reflect on that.

Acknowledge the people that have poured time, energy and love into your life.

Tell them that you are grateful for who they are and the significant difference they’ve made in your life.

You know, I believe that, whether you will get a mentor like this, is totally up to you.

If you have a passion and openness for learning and self-development, those people will come into your life.

It’s not always easy.

These people will constantly stretch and challenge you, because they know the comfort zone is not where you will grow!

And the most important thing that I’ve experienced with my mentors, was that they always shared the hard stuff with me, which could feel tough in the moment, but I never questioned whether their correction and guidance came from a place of love.

So today I wanna acknowledge my mentors.

I’m forever grateful to them, grateful for them, honour them and acknowledge that a big part of my success is due to their input.


So there you have it friends, 5 things that I’ve learned in my first year of business.

I’m excited for the next one

And I wanna thank you from the bottom of my heart, for being part of these 12 months.

Thank you for showing up to listen to what I have to say

Thank you for getting in touch and sharing your story

And Thank you for sharing my name, podcast and work with the people around you


I’m also taking this moment to be grateful for this journey, and more specifically to God for this incredible opportunity to serve women all around the world, my husband for his never ending support and unconditional love and my amazing kids for being willing to come on this journey of business with me!


Thanx for joining me again today, friend.

Until next time

Bye for now







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