Hi, this is Kate Northrup, and I have been really interested lately to learn from my most successful, happiest, most productive, entrepreneurial mom friends – how they do it behind the scenes, how do they do it without burning out and being stressed out. And I call this “sustainable success.” It means growing a business in a way that you can imagine doing for years to come with higher productivity, higher profits, and less stressed. So today I’m bringing you the story of my friend Nancy Alder, who you can find over at flyingyogini.com. She’s a writer and essential oils person and a yoga teacher, and I think you’re really going to like getting to know her.
I’m Nancy Alder. I’m a yoga teacher, a writer and an essential oil person. I also am a mom to a 13-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl and a 5-year-old daughter.
Before I used ritual and intuition in my business, it was kind of all over the place. I was spending a lot of time trying to mimic the way other people were doing their business, and I wasn’t really listening to my own voice. And I think that way I didn’t find the tribe of people who most wanted what I had to offer. As soon as I listened to my own intuition and created my own rituals, I found people who really needed my particular offerings, and I became more authentic in what I presented to them.
One struggle I had for a long time in my business was I felt held back because I was a mom to kids, and I felt like there were things I couldn’t do because I needed to be home and make their lunches and do their laundry and get them to school. So I think once I tapped into the idea – my inner wisdom – that I wanted to be a certain kind of mother, I was willing to say no to things that would have otherwise conflicted with that and that caused a lot of inner strife for me. And as soon as I understood that I had chosen to be that kind of mother, then I was okay with not having all those business and entrepreneurial things that I may have originally wanted. And that opened doors for things that actually worked better in my life and with my family.
The moment I knew that I needed to listen to my intuition was: I had one particular moment in teaching yoga where I had planned a class based upon what someone else had done, and I showed up and the people in the room asked for something totally different, and I had to instantly tap into what worked for me, and who was there, and really listen to my own inner wisdom. And it was one of my most successful moments at an early part of my career.
My life and business look different now that I’ve incorporated my intuition and ritual, in the sense that I have a lot more free time because I’m using my time more efficiently. I set up a very daily schedule for classes and sharing my writing or images on social media or on my blog, and I’ve also learned to say no to things because they don’t work with my intuition. So I’m allowed to have a little bit more fun with what I’m doing and also a little bit more time for me.
So one of the businesses I do is essential oils, and I can spend some time intuitively learning about the people I’m helping, giving them what they need, and then the business works for me without me having to be working at that same time. And that’s been very helpful for me personally, in my personal life, so that I have time to come back to my own things – and also because I know that my business is growing even when I’m not working, which is a great piece of the success for me.
One of the greatest successes through doing a ritual kind of practice with my business has been my social media growth. I sort of listen to my intuition about what I want to share, and through doing that and creating a daily ritual of posting and sharing based upon some of the rituals I do in my practice – the moon or the seasons or astrology – I’m able to reach a lot of people who are far away from my home in the tiny town in Connecticut where I live. I connect with people all over the world, and I’ve grown my social media following by double digits on every every account that I have, and I’m able to reach people that I wouldn’t otherwise see in person.
My hope is that through using ritual and intuition in my business practices – through yoga and writing and sharing essential oils – that I will be able to create a financial sense of security that gives me options to do my job anywhere, from any place, at any time, and also to say no – because I think one of the hardest things to do when you’re a mom and an entrepreneur is to find a way to say no to anything because you want to be growing your business, and at the same time you have these pulls in various directions. So I want to be able to say no but also know that when I say no, I still have plenty of options financially and creatively.
Sustainable success to me looks like being a caregiver and a healer and a creative person, helping other people, and still not forgetting about myself. So something that’s really important to me that I had to work on – and I think this is probably true for a lot of mothers, too – is forgetting myself in whatever equation I’m working on. And so as I’ve grown my business, I’ve made it a priority to put myself first. And that may mean I take time to sit on the couch and go on Instagram for inspiration, or I call one of my friends on the phone, or I go to Starbucks and get a tea. I just think that the only way you can be sustainable is if you’re taking care of yourself as well. And so that’s true whether you’re talking about your family or for your business. And in particular if you are a healer and a space holder, you really need to make sure you’re you’re holding space for yourself, or someone else is holding space for you, so that’s a big priority for me.