Follow up: She said “435 a month is not a business, it’s a hobby.”

Hi coach, thanks for your guidance on handling intense emotion. I’ll remember that for next time. To answer your questions:

* Is there a part of you that sometimes agrees with the coach’s comment?
Yes, I suppose so, because I don’t feel like I have enough results to unequivocally claim ‘business owner’ status. Although I’ve never thought of my business as a hobby, I do feel like I may be giving people the wrong impression when I tell them I have a business and I haven’t signed a client since May.

* What are your thoughts about your income?
Last year I made $1,610 and this year I planned to at least make 5 figures. My impossible goal for the year is $100K. In Q1 I made $1,635. Q2 $1,740, Q3 I dropped to $998 and so far for Q4 I’m at $400. The numbers tell me something happened with me after Q2 but I don’t know what… and anyway, with $4,773 total I feel disappointed in the year to date.

* What do you think it means about you that you make $435 a month?
I think it means I’m missing some key connection between myself and my business. I’ve got this great passion for what I want to create, but that’s not showing up in my results. And I’ve heard so many coaches say that if you don’t have the result there’s something going on with you so… I think there’s something in me that must not be plugged in.

* Did she hit a tender spot of yours?
Yes absolutely. After the investments I’ve made this year and developing the habit of intentionally managing my mind (with thought downloads, models + coaching) I was certain I would make much faster progress. I feel somewhat embarrassed that I’m still here, especially surrounded by what feels like so many other successful people.

* If your business was labeled as a “hobby” what are your thoughts about that?
From this calmer perspective… I think that a hobby can grow into a business. I think that a hobbyist can demonstrate as much skill and love for their craft as a professional.

* What does it mean about you or your business that makes that label so painful for you?
Knowing that people generally consider hobbies as light, playful activities, it was painful and offensive because I’ve not been playing around. Even with what I said above about the skill and passion of a hobbyist, I reject this stereotypical hobby identity for my work because I want it to be a business and I’m approaching everything about it from that perspective.

* How is this going to help you and your business both grow?
As you said, this is a great opportunity to learn about myself and to mature as a business owner. I’m learning how to process strong negative emotion; how to pay attention over several days to one particular reaction, to investigate what there is to be gained. Her comment (and the guy’s) show me that people will always have opinions about my business and I can decide what I want to think.

After sending her email the coach posted about me on her facebook: “Some of y’all need to get more pissed off about the money you’re not making because you’re afraid to sell.” It has 125+ likes, multiple comments and shares. I felt vulnerable reaching out and now it feels like she’s using me to be provocative. So from the perspective of designing my client journey, and being intentional about how I want people who engage with my business to feel, I’ve become even more committed to being sensitive and compassionate. I want people to experience kindness and safety when they engage with me/my business, whether they become my client or not.