Many of you know that I’m a huge Formula 1 car racing fan, which I realize may be slightly odd for a yoga therapist slash health and wellness business coach. Formula 1 is a loud, aggressive, elitist sport in which billions of dollars are traded to essentially watch boys play with fancy toys. Quite the opposite of yoga.
AND it’s also an amazing study in focus, constant evolution, and conserving resources. Planning and strategy are crucial, as is the ability to pivot on a dime and change your plan. It’s a great metaphor for how to run a health and wellness business.
At a race in Azerbaijan recently, Sebastian Vettel, one of the top drivers, ran into his primary rival not once but twice, in rapid succession, because he thought his competitor brake-checked him during a safety car.
Don’t worry if you don’t know a brake check from a bounced check, or what a safety car is, because I will give you my interpretation of the scenario: Vettel focused more on what his rival was doing than what he was doing. He was trying to anticipate his rival’s every move, which pulled his focus from his own driving. I see this often in my health and wellness business coaching. Many practitioners focus more on what other people are offering, than what they have to offer.
Now to be fair, in F1 and in business, it’s not a bad thing to know what your competitors are doing. Sometimes it is 100% crucial to have your head on a swivel and constantly be surveying the landscape for new and noteworthy developments. But often times, we are so concerned with what the rest of the field is doing, that we lose our focus and forget what our own strengths are.
What Were You Doing in the First Place?
So my wish for all of us is to have the courage to stay in our own lane – both in life and in our health and wellness businesses. As a longtime Career & Business Coach, I’ve witnessed many brilliant minds start a new project by wanting to know how others were doing it, and specifically how industry leaders were doing it. We crowd source our next project until it’s an amalgam of someone else’s product plus what our boyfriend/best friend/Facebook friend think is best.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s CRUCIAL to have mentors and colleagues to bounce around ideas, and it’s also important to be aware of best practices; no one wants to reinvent the wheel. But one of the most important skills we can develop is the ability to sift through the noise and trust ourselves.
We need to reconnect with the spark that brought us to where we are today.
Why did you go into your line of work in the first place? Can you trust yourself to deliver something extra special?
Are you a yoga therapist who helps people reduce back pain? A holistic nutritionist who supports people with food allergies? Who do you want to serve and what kind of conversation do you want to have with them? Are you trying to inspire and educate, or train your peers to serve a specific niche?
Whatever it is . . . trust it, and trust yourself. Courage of conviction goes a long way. When you couple that with the perseverance to do it your way, you are already on the road to victory.
Dreamers are Winners
I recently hosted a webinar on creating an online course, a big topic of interest for yoga and other wellness professionals. If you are one of the many who wants to pursue this avenue, I invite you to let yourself daydream a bit – what would the ideal online course look like for you and your customers? If you could design it any way you wanted to, and create the most magical experience that was uniquely YOU, what would that entail?
This act of dreaming, this connection to creativity and authenticity, is what is lost when you focus on the driver ahead of you, rather than your own line around the course.
Does this mean that you will always get what you want and that your way will be the best way and always yield positive results? Unfortunately, no, it doesn’t mean that (sorry!).
What it does mean, though, is that if you use your way as a starting point and keep iterating from there, you will eventually end up at a destination that comes from the heart. YOUR heart. It will be a version of YOU. But if your starting point is focused on how someone else is driving, or someone else’s online course or opinion, the best you will end up with is a polished version of their dream. Success on your own terms isn’t just a pie-in-the-sky fantasy, it’s actually the only way to create and deliver something of meaning and lasting value.
If You Want It . . . Come and Get It
Now I want to be realistic: it takes hard work to make your dreams come true. It’s much easier to follow someone else’s template. And by all means, please don’t confuse “staying in your own lane” with “doing it all yourself” and ignoring all conventional wisdom.
You will have to practice discernment and combine learning from others with what you know to be true for you and your business. You will have to cultivate your own team of trusted advisors and peers who call you out on your bad habits, and you will have to get really good at listening to your intuition, which can often be drowned out by fear or someone else’s enthusiasm.
But in my mind, there really is no alternative. It’s authenticity or bust, my friends, because your customers can tell when you’re copy-catting someone else’s business model or “borrowing” inspirational quotes on Instagram. They know when it’s coming from your heart and experience, and when it’s someone else’s formula. But mostly – YOU will know the difference.
So hold your chin up, adopt your best power pose, and remember that courage doesn’t mean you are always brave – it means that you move forward even if you’re scared.
Leave a comment:
Our courage multiplies in community! Share with us below – do you find it easy or hard to stay in your own lane and pave your own way? Does it feel safer at times to emulate someone else’s health and wellness business? What are your tips for creating a business that is courageously and authentically YOU?