Dealing with Failure in Your Spiritual Business

Starting and growing a spiritual business takes a lot of work. Being a spiritual entrepreneur requires a ton of dedication, commitment, flexibility, courage, and the willingness to take risks and learn new things.

On the road towards spiritual business success – however we define the word “success” – there will be setbacks, roadblocks, and situations that feel like you’ve failed. A few examples:

  • You design a beautiful website and go live with it, but you get no traffic.
  • You create an awesome workshop about crystals or chakra healing or Tarot or [insert your area of expertise here] but no one signs up.
  • You go through a period of 3-4 weeks where you have no clients.
  • You set up a number of free introductory sessions but all you get are no-shows.

None of us want to experience any of these things. And yet they’re often a part of our journey as we develop our spiritual businesses and grow as spiritual entrepreneurs. But… are these really “failures”? Or are they teaching us something?

Redefining the word “failure”

Let’s talk about the word “failure” for a minute. Of course, if you are a spiritual entrepreneur, you already know that there are no accidents, no coincidences, no mistakes. So our first step is to recognize that there is no “failure.” When something doesn’t work out the way you planned or hoped, this is just the Universe redirecting you in some way or reminding you of an area within yourself that needs more work.

What do I mean?

Let’s take the second example from above: you create an awesome workshop but no one signs up. Okay. (Been there myself!) Take a deep breath. Then go within and do some introspection, some investigation. Does this mean you’ve failed? Or does it mean you weren’t ready to teach this workshop yet? Did you prepare adequately? Did you promote your event in at least 3 different ways (say, email marketing, social media, and local advertising)? More importantly, were your beliefs about the workshop’s outcome aligned with what you actually wanted to experience? Did you feel confident about the topic? Or did you have doubts about it? Did you have a nagging feeling that no one would come, or did you believe in your bones that every seat would be filled?

This issue of filling a workshop is really common for all of us as spiritual entrepreneurs. So let’s just normalize the anxiety about this! There’s obviously a high supply of workshops and events, which are offered at yoga studios, meditation centers, retreats, not to mention a million places online. And we’re all in the same boat, trying to get those seats filled up so we can do the work we love and serve others.

But just because no one signed up for your workshop or event doesn’t mean you’ve failed. At all. It just means the Universe is sending you some information. It’s up to you to decode that information. In 98% of cases, it’s not that we haven’t taken enough actions – because typically we take tons of actions – but that an internal piece is missing or needs to be tweaked.

Tweaking your alignment & beliefs

In order to create a brand new workshop and fill it with eager participants, you need to believe that this is possible. You need to know in your bones that you are a competent teacher with valuable content to offer. You need to believe that there are many souls out there ready to work with you. You need to be in alignment with your fees, as well! If there’s any part of you that thinks you’re charging too little or too much, you’re just going to energetically block people from signing up.

Very often, especially in the beginning stages of running a spiritual business, we get tripped up by the “how” questions. Have you wondered…

  • How are people going to find me?
  • How are people going to find my website?
  • How am I going to fill this workshop?
  • How am I going to teach a class?
  • How are people going to pay me X amount of money?
  • How am I going to advertise my services?

How, how, how, how. We need to start making the “how” irrelevant when it’s driven by fear, self-doubt, confusion, and frustration. If we’re asking a “how” question from a place of hopelessness or desperation – hooooow in the world are people going to find me and want to work with me?!?! – then it’s not a productive question. It’s a question that torments you! It’s coming from your ego, not from your soul.

Your soul doesn’t care about the how, because it trusts that the Universe will help you figure anything out. The Universe will take care of the how if you have enough trust, faith, and confidence in yourself. But you must be aligned with what you say you want. You must believe in your heart and gut that you have worthy, valuable things to offer your students and clients. And you must believe that there are millions of souls out there eager to work with you, just waiting for you to offer your classes, workshops, retreats, products, and services.

Going from “how” to “I don’t know, but…”

Instead of asking these incessant “how” questions from a place of fear, worry, and disbelief, we need to change our vocabulary. We need to say: “I don’t know exactly how people will find me, but I know that I have amazing things to offer and I trust that the Universe will bring my clients to me.”

Or, “I don’t know exactly how my workshop will be filled, but I trust that the souls who are ready to work with me will find it and sign up without hesitation.”

Or, “I don’t know how I will set up an online storefront for my products, but I know that the right information, tutorials, and guidance will show up for me as I figure all of this out.”

The “I don’t know” part of this statement acknowledges that we’re in an unknown, uncertain place. We don’t have all the answers. We can’t see it all playing out in a specific way. The “but” part serves as a transition, reminding us that we might not know all the specifics, BUT we do know something. We do know that the Universe has our back. We know that we’re smart enough to figure this out. We know that internal alignment is the most important component in all of this. We know that we’ve made contracts with certain souls to work together in this lifetime. Knowing (and reminding ourselves of) all of these things helps to shift out of fear, desperation, worry, or hopelessness into a more open space of possibility and collaboration with the Universe.

Stay open after heartbreak

The most important part in all of this is not allowing a so-called “failure” to beat you down or throw you off your path. Of course, it’s tempting to go back to a traditional job when your workshop doesn’t sell out or you haven’t booked a client in 3 weeks. But you need to remember that being self-employed, especially as a spiritual entrepreneur, will always have ebbs and flows. This is because your work is directly related to your inner state of being.

So, if you haven’t had a client in 3 weeks, it doesn’t mean you will never have a client again. It just means you might be working on your own stuff right now. Or you need to heal some aspect of yourself. Or you are going through an evolutionary upgrade and you need to revamp your courses and services. Use any slow periods of “downtime” to tweak or update your website, to refine your offerings, to get back in alignment with your fees, and to visualize what you really want.

When a workshop “fails” or we build a website and no one comes, it can be really demoralizing. It can break our hearts. And after heartbreak, the last thing we want to do is open our hearts again and take another risk. After heartbreak, we want to protect ourselves. We want to withdraw and retreat from the world. But this defense mechanism will not work in spiritual business.  The thing is, you must not take any of these “failures” (let’s call them LESSONS) personally. Because they’re not. It’s not that people don’t like you, or that there’s something wrong with you, or that you’re not good enough. It’s just that the timing wasn’t right, or people weren’t ready for what you offered, or YOU weren’t ready to teach that particular class or lead that event.

Instead of closing your heart and trying to protect yourself, you must go back to the drawing board and do some objective research. Look at this situation in a detached way. Could you tweak this and offer it again in the future? Does this workshop, class, service, or offering feel truly in alignment with who you are? Or could you create something else that resonates with you more deeply and that makes you more excited?

The world needs you and your work. There are so many souls out there just waiting to connect with you! So you must persevere and be kind with yourself and encourage yourself to try again, to take another risk, to keep re-aligning yourself and your business. Remember, there are NO failures, just lessons and challenges meant to help us grow and become who we really are meant to be. Keep going!

If this article resonates with you or you’re facing a setback or challenge in your spiritual business, I’d love to connect with you. I invite you to book a complimentary discovery call to chat about whatever’s going on. No strings attached!

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