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The Road Not Taken – How to survive while building a business in COVID-19 times?

The Road Not Taken – How to survive while building a business in COVID-19 times?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

When I was younger and studied American business and culture this was my favourite poem by R.Frost – The Road Not Taken. I always wondered , if I ever had to chose the road less travelled? Will I have enough courage to do that? The roads that are not used frequently  look scary, univiting and simply have nothing to offer to those who do not have courage to be curious and look beyond what is visible at first sight. I thought that June 2020 is a good timing for some reflection (half year) and my goals assessment, to look at the road I actually have taken.

Looking ahead and not being able to see what is around the corner is scary for many of us. Rightly so, our brain wants to keep us safe and comfortable and avoid unnecessary dangers at all costs. We start creating ‘what if ‘ scenarios  rarely seeing anything positive. Our upbringing has a lot to do with that. I was brought up in a relatively safe house. My Mum stayed with me for three years before she returned to her job and I had to go to the Nursery.

However, after that it was pretty much ride into independence for me. Right from the very beginning in the primary school I was going on my own and returning home on my own with a key on my neck. I grew up in the block of flats and I guess it was a community responsibility to look after all the children. There were always at least one or two pair of eyes watching us from the windows while we were playing outside. Anyway, too long to write about everything so fast forward to my university and first job years, I found myself longing for a change and an opportunity to explore other cultures and countries. I loved learning English language (I also had to learn Russian) so that was my natural choice to go to a country were English is native. I badly  wanted to go to the USA. I applied for summer camps etc but due to my illness I could not go. Very disappointing indeed.

Year 2019 – Time to take the road not taken

I thought of myself that I actually was always chosing the road not taken. Howver, that it is not entirely  true. Some choices although they were big lifestyle changes, somehow  felt safe anyway. I came to UK after finishing my MA studies. I gave up well paid job but again I came to my future husband who rented a flat and could support us while I was looking for a job.

Again fast forward almost 15 years which I spent in few places but mainy in the corprate, I truly stood at the front of the road not taken. I never was entrepreneur and never anyone from my family and my closer husband’s family was one. Actually enterprenurs never had good opinion in my country.  I always associated enterpreneurship with hard work, no fun and little returns for the first few years. However, I wanted to try and finally made a decision to leave and start my own business.

My journey has started with a little book of great ideas. I believe I started it in 2016 and carried with me everywhere I went. It is full of thoughts, quotes, useful blogs, courses etc. It helped me a lot putting down my thoughts on the paper and not carring them around. I was inspired a lot but not enough to take any actions. Since than I have finished three courses and fourth is in progress to change my career – yeah it takes a lot – time money and stamina to do this – I will not lie.

great ideas

Lesson number 1 – if you carry any ideas long enough , give them a try  – I really should have started long time ago. 

I had to have a good understanding and do some inner work of what I really wanted to do in my life. I finished different courses including Social Media Management before I arrived at coaching.

Anyway, 2nd half of 2019 I decided to leave corporate and started to work with my first client in September. After that more clients followed while I was studying and trying to figure out  all admin stuff , marketing and sales. I felt overwhelmed. I thought it would be easy. I was organised, I could plan and diligent in implementing actions etc. But wait a minute, I never had to work for me ?? and of course you can be your worst boss ever! 

 I cried my eyes out , trying to understand how it all works . I was stressed as my savings was getting smaller and smaller and not enough was coming in to cover bills, and running the business. I cut all unnecessary spending including bills. But I was gaining momentum and I loved the creative side of my business combining cooking and coaching, I started running cookery workshops and Supper clubs which I loved. I also got in touch with an outside company which was looking for coaches to join and coach patients in NHS. My first training was in August 2019 . I started coaching for them in May 2020.

Lesson number 2 – at the beginning take other opportunities which may come your way so that you have cash coming in  – they may not be exactly what you ultimately want but they can bring you a step closer to your dream and provide so much required financial resources without getting into debt.

2020 – And the COVID-19  struck

Nobody ,ever never would have predicted what happend in March 2020. The world as we know has come to a stop. Did I panic? Not really, as most of my profitable part of the business was online anyway. However fear, insecurities and poor money mindset all kicked in hard and laud. I could not have imagine myself selling or that people would invest in themselves during such times. And that was the hardest part. I already had some resilience but not enough . I generally felt safe but I needed to turn into my coaching tribe for support and love. It was great. Everyone was in the similar situation and struggled with their mindset. We received a lot of support and love.

Lesson number 3 – make sure you have your tribe you can turn to, who will hold space for you and hold you accountable

 How I have survived the first weeks in lockdown? It was not easy. First of all, I have a wonderful family who believes in me and understands. They see me healthy and happy and in far more better shape than I used to be and we all love it. Yes we may not afford a lot of things but in COVID-19 times, does it matter? We had no holidays plans to cancel or any other tickets and booking arrangements to postpone and sort out. We focused on our home, growing veggies, walking and riding the bike. We have one SPA voucher which we hope to use later this year.

I have realised that living simpler life is pleasurable, less stressful and can be fun! Focusing on expriences and not possessions made me really happy and focused on my dream.

In my business I focused on serving my current and new clients, growing my audience, regular blogging, regular lives and supporting my group. I focused on essential oils as well and found it really fun, fullfilling and massively useful in times of stress and anxiety. I grew my team a bit and managed to do few webinars. I have done my first podcast and also started coaching for NHS (I collaborate with Swedish Start Up company – Liva Healthcare) which will bring me regular income. I also continued networking as much as I could but found it overwhelming with loads of zoom calls all day. Now my time is limited as I coach more but still try to do regular meetings at least 2 times a week. I also managed to partner with the clinic where I wanted to see clients face to face before COVID-19. They organised online webinars and are willing to promote Therapists and consultants working for them. I am going to organise workshops there and see clients face to face when they are fully open.Check them out here – Surrey and Hampshire Wellbeing Clinic.

nutrition

Lesson number 4 – know your goals and targets. Understand money in and out, but give yourself compassion and do not put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Ask for help!

Below I share few activites which helped me a lot to stay focused and stay in my lane.

  1. Morning routine  –  although not always perfect, I managed to meditate, journal and reflect with gratefulness on everything which happend for me; I connected with my WHY again, listened to good podcasts and practiced what I preach;
  2. Stayed active – I tuned into my body and what it really wanted. Physical activity can be very good for mental health but it does not have to be long distance running. I found early morning walks incredibly  nourishing for me and my soul. Knowing that I have done something for myself in the morning really brought me a lot of joy and I felt relaxed. I am now back to running.
  3. Mental resilience- I practiced a lot of resilience. I ditched the comparison . Some coaches got a lot of even high paying clients and I could not get any. Comparison is a road to hell. Never ever compare yourself to anyone and do not assume that you know about somebody’s life based  on his/her pictures on social media. Easy written than done , I know.
  4. Celebrate every small step – this is tough as we see only the things we have not done . Small progress does not count for us but it is vital for our brain to register and for us to feel good. I celebrated everything no matter how small even the fact that I ate healthy and went for 10 min walk instead of 40 min.
  5. I kept my spending to minium and had some savings as well as other sources of income. I did my tax return very quickly and got some money back which helped me a lot.
  6. I kept my WHY visible and in my mind all the time. I kept my energy high although sometimes I just wanted to give up and hide. I know that I am on a right path and do not regret my decision.  The climb is not over yet and I need to enjoy it.

Health Coach

These are key things and it is not over yet but I think that I am defenitly in far more better place than I expected in March. I am calm, happy, healthy and grateful. I know that I am exactly where I should be. In January I told myself that I want to help 2020 people this year. They do not have to be my paying clients only. I am very hopeful that I will reach my target.

I have a bucket list of things I want to achieve. This includes social media and usuall business stuff but above all I want to grow as an exceptional and transformational coach who inspires others to take action to better and healthier life for themselves and their families.  I realise  now that without inner work, myself as I coach do not show up fully present for my clients. I show up preoccupied with my life. I am currently reading the book by Marilena Minucci on Quantum Coaching – great perspective needed for new coaches. 

I am not here to drag anyone into coaching. Even in NHS patients have choice to be or not to be on a program. It is not forced on them. You need to be ready to take it in and put the work in. Coaching opens up the doors for you, you  thought were closed or were not even there. 

It is up to you to get curious about  the Road Not Taken.

Love M.

I offer free discovery sessions. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Jump on Board now.

 

Vegan Pea ‘Burgers’ with cashew sour cream

Vegan Pea ‘Burgers’ with cashew sour cream

Enjoy this delicious summer recipe!

Pea 'Burger' with Cashew Salad Cream

Thanks to the peas, chickpeas and seeds this 'burger' recipe is protein packed making it great addition to summer BBQ. The seasoning gives it a depth of spicing ideal to be served alongside lemony cashew nut mayonnaise or homemade guacamole
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 4 people
Cost: £3 pp

Ingredients

  • 50 g sweetcorn, tinned
  • 200 g garden peas
  • 240 g chickpeas
  • 30 g fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 30 g fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 75 g glutne free flour (I use gram)
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 large galric clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper or to taste
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil to fry or other oil like avocado

Salad Cream

  • 70 g cashews, soaked
  • 30 ml white wine vinegar
  • 30 ml oilive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 60 ml water
  • 4 g nutritionla yeast
  • 1/8 tsp Dijon mustard (or mustard powder)

Instructions

  • Pour warm water over the peas to deforst. Once thawed drain off the water.
  • Place the onion, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and spices into a food processor and pulse to start to combine.
  • Next add sweetcorn, the peas, chickpeas and flour to the food procesor and blitz until mixutre starts to look smooth in texture
  • Then add the seeds , pulse to incorporate
  • Form the burgers by placing 4 tbsp of mixture into the palm of one hand and use the other to mould the mixutre into a large puck shape. Place burger on to a tray lined with baking parchment. Continue to make burgers with the reminaing mixture, then cover the tray with cling film and chill for 30 minutes - 1 hours to firm up (it really makes a difference)
  • Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Add oil to the pan and fry each side for 5 min. After that add them onto the baking tray
  • Cook the burgers for 15 minutes in the oven or until warm in the center
  • Serve with salad, BBQ sauce, homemade ketchup

Notes

This is a great base for any burgers. You could replace peas with beans or beetroot (I would use one medium raw grated). It is a great burger for batch cooking and freezing already cooked. You can then defrost and reheat on BBQ or in the oven.
Welcome June – Wake Up Your Inner Child

Welcome June – Wake Up Your Inner Child

I feel like the time has flew so quickly. The lockdown lasted over 8 weeks but I feel like it was few days ago. Now it is new month and ease down of the lockdown. While this is happening I must say that I will be missing some part of it especially time spent here at our home nowhere to go and nowhere to be. My daughter is restarting school today but it is far far away from normal so we will see what happens. She wants to go back but is not looking forward to all new rules on top of the old ones.

Now talking about the rules. I want you to think about this for a moment. It will not be easy for any of us. We hate rules especially when they are over the top. I absolutley hate doing shopping in the supermarkets nowdays so I order online. I feel lost with all the signs and i find it hard to maintain 2 meter distance from other people.

Quite often we hate the rules when we start following the healthy lifestyle. We get frustrated, bored and we want to rebel. So what we do? We reach for comfort food and drink. And that is it we give up. 

This June I want you to rebel but in a safe way. Wake up your inner child and allow some playfulness into your life so that you can make changes with ease and flow. I have come up with this list for you to try:

  1. Prank call your friends or mum
  2. Make different colour hair or highlights
  3. Drive in your PJs around your town
  4. Go braless?
  5. Hide in a closet or behind doors and scare someone
  6. Ding dong and ditch your neighbour
  7. Have a water balloon fight
  8. In your colouring book – colour outside the lines
  9. Go out in the rain and dance
  10. Dance to your favourite music looking silly

Let me also know what are your goals for this month. What are you aiming for? It is good to have some. Myself and my husband, we are starting the cleanse on Monday in my group. I also have a resolution to ditch alcohol in June, drink more green smoothies, do press ups every day as well doing abs work out every other day. The highlights of our lockdown were early morning walks and bike rides which we want to continue for sure.

I know that I need to have more playfulness so that I can follow this plan. I need to release the energy which does not serve me. I want to release the grief for something I had but did not serve me to make room for new and change. I love my early morning rituals of meditation, journalling and manifestations. I love keeping my cup full so I can give to others with joy. 

Wishing you great month and do join my Facebook group. The theme of this month is Find Calmer You. We will talk  about stress , covering good food to eat so that we remain relaxed, grounded and balanced. And that in turn will help our weight management efforts.

If you  feel that now is the time to work with somebody 1:1 and get your health goals on track; if you struggle with low energy and stuck weight, if you want to feel more grounded and light, do get in touch and book free Discovery session. 

I am also leaving this delicious recipe for pea burgers. Perfect for the healthy version of the summer BBQ.

Love M.

Pea 'Burger' with Cashew Salad Cream

Thanks to the peas, chickpeas and seeds this 'burger' recipe is protein packed making it great addition to summer BBQ. The seasoning gives it a depth of spicing ideal to be served alongside lemony cashew nut mayonnaise or homemade guacamole
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 4 people
Cost: £3 pp

Ingredients

  • 50 g sweetcorn, tinned
  • 200 g garden peas
  • 240 g chickpeas
  • 30 g fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 30 g fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 75 g glutne free flour (I use gram)
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 large galric clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper or to taste
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil to fry or other oil like avocado

Salad Cream

  • 70 g cashews, soaked
  • 30 ml white wine vinegar
  • 30 ml oilive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 60 ml water
  • 4 g nutritionla yeast
  • 1/8 tsp Dijon mustard (or mustard powder)

Instructions

  • Pour warm water over the peas to deforst. Once thawed drain off the water.
  • Place the onion, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and spices into a food processor and pulse to start to combine.
  • Next add sweetcorn, the peas, chickpeas and flour to the food procesor and blitz until mixutre starts to look smooth in texture
  • Then add the seeds , pulse to incorporate
  • Form the burgers by placing 4 tbsp of mixture into the palm of one hand and use the other to mould the mixutre into a large puck shape. Place burger on to a tray lined with baking parchment. Continue to make burgers with the reminaing mixture, then cover the tray with cling film and chill for 30 minutes - 1 hours to firm up (it really makes a difference)
  • Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Add oil to the pan and fry each side for 5 min. After that add them onto the baking tray
  • Cook the burgers for 15 minutes in the oven or until warm in the center
  • Serve with salad, BBQ sauce, homemade ketchup

Notes

This is a great base for any burgers. You could replace peas with beans or beetroot (I would use one medium raw grated). It is a great burger for batch cooking and freezing already cooked. You can then defrost and reheat on BBQ or in the oven.