How being an entrepreneur made me more spiritual
I was raised in a house of regular religious practice. My father converted to Catholicism to marry my mother, and I understood faith as an expectation and a routine. I didn’t necessarily connect with what I’d been taught at a young age, but I was always a good student. So I learned, and I attended mass, and I didn’t ask questions.
As I grew older, I fell away from any particular faith practice. The massacres, judgements and fear that were being enacted in the name of religion felt too overpowering to ignore. They overshadowed the practice of love that lies at the root of many faiths, and I didn’t feel like there was a path there for me. While I supported my friends and family who had strong faith practices, I felt that there wasn’t space there for me. I chose to go it alone, to trust in a benevolent Universe but not to worry about the details of theory that made my head and heart hurt.
Then, I became an entrepreneur.
I had no idea the ways in which this decision would stretch me on a spiritual level. I was prepared for the long hours, for the hard work, even for the financial stress. I never imagined, though, that launching my own business would help me to heal my hurts and distrust around faith. Slowly but surely, my challenges as a new business owner helped me to see my mala beads and crystals as newer versions of the rosary and crucifix of my childhood. My entrepreneurial journey has reminded me that faith is present in all major decisions, has given me permission to discover my own spiritual practices, and provided me with the relief of surrender.
The decision to create your own business is, point blank, an act of faith.
Whether that’s an act of faith in yourself, in a specific deity, or in the loving power of the Universe, you have to believe when you make this choice that it will work out in the long run. You may not realize the significance of this when you’re just struggling to file the paperwork for your LLC, but by deciding to go out on a limb and pursue your dream, you’re taking a leap of faith.
My business formation process involved a lot of swear words, late nights, and probably a few too many glasses of wine. When I was in the middle of it, I didn’t see it as a religious experience. I don’t think that matters, though, because I now see that the decision to believe in myself, in my decisions and in the Universe’s desire to support me meant that I could move past fear and into action.
There are a lot of scary moments during the first 6 months of entrepreneurship. You suddenly come face to face with all of your fears, and there’s no way to escape them. You are everything to your brand, because you are your brand-and that means that you handle each challenge that comes your way. Are you afraid of being seen and heard? Are you afraid of coming off as too pushy? Are you nervous about meeting new people and networking? Does financial management screw up your zen? I hear you. Like it or not, you still need to handle it.
Pretty early into my time as a life coach, I started hearing other coaches talk about their mindset practice. I had no idea what this meant and started scouring the internet for instructions and information. Essentially, it’s a practice of putting your heart and mental space in alignment before tackling the tasks of the day. If you’re being intentional about creating your mood before you start responding to the needs of your business, you can control your experience. You also remind yourself through affirmations, meditation, or even a yoga practice that whatever seems so scary today will not even be a second thought tomorrow. A mindset practice is just a simple morning routine: focus on what pumps you up, and banish the fear and anxiety. I realize now that meditation and affirmations aren’t so different from morning prayers; and that both can give a sense of peace and guidance to the day.
At the end of the business day, you also have to learn to surrender. It can be hard or even undesirable to admit that you don’t control every aspect of your life or business. You can’t work every minute of every hour (although you’ll probably try to in the beginning), and you really don’t have to. Surrendering is a crucial part to learning to roll with the punches.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely an entrepreneur-which means that you’re brilliant, resourceful, and you believe in yourself. By surrendering your business to whatever is going to happen in the next few hours or days, you’re reaffirming your faith in yourself to handle what comes up. It’s also a huge relief to know that you don’t have to be in control all the time.
I know that my spiritual path is still in development. I don’t consider myself a part of a specific religion the way my parents do, and I’m okay with that. I find it really liberating and freeing to be able to design my own understanding of the world, and to trust that it will all work out as it’s supposed to. I find it fun to fill our home with crystals, and to practice daily meditation. The biggest learning curve for me so far in my entrepreneurial journey has been rediscovering a sense of faith in myself. Building my business and nurturing that faith has been unlike anything I expected when I was getting started, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Looking to connect with other badass + spiritual women that are living their most adventurous lives now? Of course you are--everyone needs a community! Come join our crew over at The Badass Society for free resources and support as you pursue your biggest dreams.