Field of Dreams - If you build it, will they come?
Lauren Goggins | Founder
So, you want to be an entrepreneur?
Five years ago, I was in the process weighing the pros and cons of starting a brick-and-mortar yoga business. I would get stuck vacillating between “Should I?” or “Shouldn’t I?” For about a year, I went back-and-forth with indecision. The whole time I was meditating, talking to mentors, and pulling angel cards, like any good Millennial. Over and over, I would pull the angel card, “Make A Commitment.” Honestly, I don’t think the universe cared what decision I made, I think it was just sick of me whining, “What should I do????”
Finally, it got to the point where this phrase was always present, “If you build it, they will come." And, we all know what I did…. Looking back on that moment, I’m not convinced there was ever a right or wrong decision. Either way, I needed to make a decision, so I could move forward with my life.
I vividly remember the day I signed the paperwork to get my business loan, and I felt sick to my stomach. The whole time I was making my decision to open a business, I thought the day I got the loan would be the best day of my life. Well, that day was by far the scariest! It was the day I was COMMITTED to my business. It was like I gave birth to a business, and now had to find a way to keep it alive for a minimum of five years.
One thing that became clear to me in the business process was it’s really hard to start a business if you LOVE the thing you’re selling. Personally, I love yoga, and I started a business that made yoga a commodity. When you love something dearly it makes it way more personal. In the beginning it was slow going, which was emotionally draining because I’m a 90’s kid with a lot of entitlement, so once again, that Field of Dreams quote was my mantra - “If you build it, they will come.” All I have to say, is you shouldn’t listen to spirits because spirits can’t pay bills.
And, in the movie no one specified how long you had to "build" before "they" came....
Regardless of how beautiful my studio, I still had to learn a lot about business, promotion, balancing accounts, payroll, lease negotiation, hiring and firing, management, social media, purchasing, and literally everything else because I knew very little, except my instinct. I may own a yoga business, but it’s still a business.
Looking back what I believe made it easier, was I never questioned WHY I started Bottom Line Yoga because I believe in the benefits of yoga, and the impact we could have on people working in the Chicago Loop.
Business, entrepreneurship, is a meditative practice, like this diagram there are a lot of high highs, and low lows. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in the last four years is patience and staying grounded. All good things take time to grow, and I’m so blessed to be surrounded by a fantastic team, students, and corporate partners. We’ve attracted the best people in the Loop. When my fears get out of whack, I have learned to step back, breathe, and make the next best decision.
Now, when I look back on the day I signed the loan paperwork, I understand the feeling. If you want something bad enough, you have to be willing to put in the work, and that feeling was the realization that my life was going to change in a huge way. It was the hard work and commitment that scared me, but what I have received in return has been the greatest blessing.
Do I think I could have taken a different path and still had a good life? Yes.
Do I think I could have taken a different path and been where I am today? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Regardless of what life choices one makes, there will always be ups and downs, and the unexpected always happens. If you enjoy rollercoasters, hot stoves, the autobahn, and living on the edge, then entrepreneurship might be great for you. If you value consistency, steady paychecks, 9-5 workdays, and peace of mind, then maybe now’s not the time. In life most decisions aren’t black-and-white, life-and-death, most decisions are about timing and aligning with values and opportunities. Knowing yourself is the first step.
It’s always easy to think that what other people have is better than what we have, but as I wrote about in my previous blog, The grass is green where you water it! No matter what choice you make, just make sure it’s the best choice for you. And, when the right set of circumstances arise, and with patience, they eventually show up.