A Tale of Failure, Triumph, and Celebration
Question: Have you ever taken a step forward in your life and then realized that you totally forgot to honor and celebrate the step that came before?
In my teaching I emphasize the importance of honoring and celebrating each of our life steps from the small ones to the big ones and everything in between. So, how interesting (and humbling!) to find myself in this current situation: I totally forgot to honor and celebrate a very big step in my life!
When I look back over the last decade, I see that I’ve been carrying the seed of some tangible container of my money work- a book, a workbook, or some similar type of product.
Ever since I gave my very first talk on the Conscious Bookkeeping philosophy, people have been asking me when my book would be coming out. Six years ago, I was contacted by a well-known literary agent who wanted to talk with me about writing a book proposal. I told her, “Not yet, maybe soon.”
I was then contacted by the wonderful Sounds True publishing house three years ago to create a Home Study Program. Despite my extensive experience in presenting my material to a live audience, I found myself at a near-total loss of what to say once I was set up in their gorgeous recording studio. I sat there mostly in painful silence, confused and disoriented. We canceled our contract after a couple days of this unsuccessful attempt. I felt heartbroken. Doubt swirled around me, and I even questioned the entire basis of my message and my work.
Then, within a few weeks of that supposed “failure,” my husband and I consciously conceived our son, Noah!
Thankfully, I was able to re-create my business model to accommodate being a devoted mommy for the next two years while continuing to teach my Conscious Bookkeeping curriculum. However, I did need to put the creation of my product on the back burner.
Fast forward a few years: My son turns 2 years old this past August, 2010, and I somehow get the fire under my butt and the clarity in my eyes to see how to grow that seed of my work into its fullness. So I teach my final live course, gather the right team of people around me, and go full steam ahead with translating my very popular live course into a home study program, complete with workbook, audio classes, and an online forum. I also decide to self-publish!
I quickly announce that I am pre-launching the Home Study Program in January, 2011 and will be releasing it one chapter at a time. My co-writer and I just need to stay ahead of the rolling deadlines (or “lifelines,” as he calls them), which we manage to pull off with great success.
I learned two huge lessons from my experience at Sounds True.
First, I learned to let go of (some of!) my attachment to the timing in which life unfolds. Turns out, I needed these last few years to allow the body of my work to continue to simmer and develop even further into a form that I could really be proud of. In this way, “failures” may actually be a gift from life that points us in a better direction.
Second, I learned how important relationship is in my teaching. I’ve always known that I’m a very relational being. But I hadn’t fully seen how central this feature is in my teaching process. Me sitting alone in a recording studio is a dead end. But me teaching and coaching my students in real time makes the material come alive. So, “failures” can also show us our true strengths and point out where we are not expressing them. We can see how we are attempting to contort ourselves into something that is not really us. So, failures can help us re-commit again to where and how we shine.
I believe that my finally seeing and fully honoring how this works for me is directly connected to the ease with which the audio portion of my home study program ended up getting created. The 60 wonderful students in my final live telecourse honored me and all my future students by allowing me to use the live recordings of our course for my product. How beautiful is that?! Thank you!
Have you had big lessons come out of experiences that, at the time, seemed like miserable failures?
So, after a very successful pre-launch in which I exceeded my goals, I decide to schedule a big, free teleclass. The final pages of the 200-page workbook are finalized just days beforehand.
I give the big teleclass and then welcome a great group of students into the program. At the same time, I’m left feeling some unfamiliar tension around this process. As always, I had clear number goals in mind for new student sign-ups. My track record with hitting this type of goal has been exceptional in the last few years. However, this time I missed the target, which left me feeling strangely uncomfortable and off balance for quite a few days.
So, what happened here? Well, a couple of things.
1) I’m not practicing what I preach!
I realized that I’ve been so focused on my next steps in terms of giving the teleclass and getting the home study out there in a bigger way that I have yet to honor and celebrate the birth of something that’s been gestating in me for about 10 years! How off track is that!? I’ve just given birth, but I haven’t really stopped to look, appreciate the beauty, and fully feel the impact of my creation.
Recently, I saw a colleague post on facebook about holding and cradling her newly published book as though it were a newborn baby. I want to do that too; I need to do that too! And now that I’m tuned in to this situation, it’s almost as if I can hear the home study program calling out to me: “Hey, Bari! Please acknowledge and honor my birth!”
2) My own money work needed attention!
A shamanic session, perfectly scheduled a couple days after my teleclass, was so helpful. I was shown the actual source of the urgency that had clouded my judgment. Turns out that I’d been wanting to hit my large numbers goal so that I’d be able to hand over a big chunk of money to my husband (or rather, to our savings account). This, in turn, would have helped me feel free to contemplate the possibility of having a second child!!! Wow, huh?
I feel some pressure to make this decision, and to make it soon! I’d figured that a sizable nest egg would relieve any pressure my husband might feel about being the primary breadwinner if we choose to go down that road.
He and I share the responsibilities for making money and parenting. And while I feel this is a very healthy and balanced dynamic, I was not surprised that I was setting my big number goals with the unconscious hope that a large sum of money would buy me the time and space to attend to the this critical question regarding my next steps.
So, to move go forward, I must first go back.
So, here’s the plan for the next 2 weeks:
Step 1: I’m going to go to kinkos, print out the final 200-page workbook with the gorgeous cover and the 11 class CDs with their gorgeous labels (I will be creating an elegant hard copy version of my program very soon). Then I am going to hold it in my hands and take a good, long look, and love up my beautiful new baby-a body of money work and a true transformational journey.
Step 2: I am going to gather a small group of dear friends, and together we will honor this birth and its purpose in the world with ritual and celebration. I will savor the reality of what I’ve created and allow it to really sink in at every level.
Step 3: I trust that after a proper celebration I will be able to bring more clarity and integrity to considering all my options and next steps for my Home Study Program in terms of marketing, new teleclasses, video, and other offers.
Step 4: I will be taking the time-with or without an enormous cash injection-to choose my next big steps in life intentionally. I am clearly at a crossroads. Perhaps I will choose to have a second child. Perhaps I will choose to have my Home Study Program published into a book. Perhaps I will take a year to dance. Perhaps I will grow my business again. We’ll see…
What I do know for sure is that I am very proud of my Conscious Bookkeeping curriculum and the form I have finally put it in via the Home Study Program.
I know the 3-Doorway process (Financial Therapy, Values-Based Bookkeeping & Life Vision Planning) provides great results and our world really needs us to do this work at this time.
I hope you got a few gems to take home with you from this tale…
A final piece.
One of the things I stumbled upon in the days following my teleclass was to offer a longer monthly payment plan at the rate of $75.00 per month. Something about this monthly amount really struck a chord for a lot of people and made it easier for them to join my Home Study Program.
So for now, I will continue to offer this option. The bonuses are gone but I hope this new payment plan might make the difference for some of you. If you’re ready for a true transformational journey, please join me and our expanding community…
And, if you would like a sample of the Home Study Program, sign up for my Free recording: Tools For Financial Transformation on my site: https://baritessler.com/
Thank you for reading & witnessing.
With my dearest wishes,
Bari Tessler Linden
Financial Therapist, Coach & Mommypreneur