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.


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.


Lower back pain forced me to start my health journey

Lower back pain forced me to start my health journey

In this post I am sharing some details of my health journey and I truly hope you will find inspiration. This is the first part as I have two more to share.  I started my health journey over two years ago. Step by step I started recovery from lower back mild depression and burnout. Today I share the recovery from a lower back problem as it had a profound impact on how I live today. Enjoy.

Painkillers, drugs, pills, medications

In the picture, there are drugs I used to take for different things. Fortunately not anymore but the damage they made to my liver and digestion system is probably for many years. Do we need them? When I was little my mum used to give me mint tea for stomach upsets, camomile tea for better sleep and milk with garlic and honey for flue and colds. For coughs and nasal congestions, I used to do steam sessions with my head under the towel and above hot water with some mint drops. I can’t remember having any antibiotics.  So no I do not think so that we need these for those minor alignments. Yes, we are used to getting rid of the symptoms as quickly as possible especially pain as we want to live comfortably and we do not have time to address the issues where and why the pain came from in the first place. Pharmaceutical companies are making fortune on drugs some of them are addictive and prescribed sometimes in a very short period of time by GPs as the only solution to the problem. However, the worse are those over the counter which we take just in case. I get that they may be needed and in many life long illnesses they are required but the pain should be cured (also using natural methods) not lived with forever.

lower back drugs

How it all started – my road through hell to recovery

Over three years ago I suffered from a lower back injury (doing burpees by the way). The pain did not go away for months so I could not swim or run even with some painkillers. I knew that I did not want to continue like that and decided to have a diagnosis and possible operation. I had disc prolapsed and part of my disc was removed. I had fairly quick recovery and loads of prescription drugs including co-codamol which is an opioid (highly addictive as we know from current news from the USA and also from UK).

After a year I had an episode with a lower back spasm and I could not walk. I was prescribed loads of drugs some of them I was told to take together in a massive dose which caused heart palpitations and shallow breathing. Needless to say I wanted to go to A&E but I could barely  walk and could not sit so after short conversation on the phone (they did not want to send ambulance),   I somehow managed to get to the car (it took me 20 minutes to get in and get out in massive pain) and laying straight across the seats at the back my husband took me to hospital where  I was waiting in the emergency room for 3 hours standing.

Finally, I was admitted and put on morphine.  Scan showed small disc buldge so I had another small operation. After that I said never again. I started physiotherapy, yoga and meditation. I also started with essential oils. As it came to my attention that a lot of stress is accumulated in the lower back as well I  started meditation every morning with my favourite app – Calm.


I am happy to report that I am lower back pain three for almost a year. I do not take any flu drugs nor medication to help with digestive issues which really act as glue and do not cure anything but just help temporarily with the symptoms.

My daily rituals

I use essential oils to support my immune system, for relaxation and any sports injuries (usually pulled muscles and Blue Rub cream with essential oils works miracles). I run, swim and weight lift (never thought I could do it but this is the best exercise I can think of for toning and strengthening the core and whole body – if done properly under supervision). I take supplements for healthy bones, omega 3 (from algae) and Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. I take oils in the capsules for healthy cells as well. I love the oils and they support the health of my whole family in the most natural way there can be. Just to be clear here I started this ritual when I was working full time, I was studying two courses simultaneously and I was developing my business so do not tell me that you are too busy. Honestly, it can be done.

However, above all, I cook delicious plant-based food which keeps my cholesterol level where it should be and boosts my energy levels. I balance sugar levels with loads of water and healthy fats and protein in each meal. With switching to plant-based lifestyle I noticed that my portions on the plate are smaller and I do not need snacks most of the time. I also make sure that my meals are not rushed and I have time to reflect and chew properly. Overall I lost over a stone and managed to keep it off.  I feel that in this decade I am setting up the foundations for great health and healthy aging. I want to be with my daughter in good health as long as possible. I want to travel and coach other women to help on their way to good health and a life full of energy and fulfillment. Aging can be beautiful but we need to look after ourselves NOW.

Quite often we do not do that. We feel that we can run with minimum batteries for a long period of time. Unfortunately, years of neglect will show up later in life with the full force and medications are not a good answer. Yes, it can help temporarily but we need to educate ourselves and choose what is best for us and ask questions in appointments with GPs what is the best solutions for me right now.

vegan proteinvegan cheesecakesvegan scallops

My daily ritual (example)

  1. Glass of water with drop of lemon essential oil – after waking up our body is thirsty and needs to drink; I drink plenty at least 7-8 glasses over the day but also herbal teas and water kefir.
  2. Stretching, 10 press ups, 10 squats, sun salutations and warrior yoga poses or sometimes HIIT with skipping rope.
  3. Breakfast – green smoothie (with protein powder or chia and hemp seeds or sprouted quinoa) or high protein granola (no dried fruits with berries, goji berries, cocoa nibs) with plant based milk – almond (I love the Replenish brand – high almond content with added water or I do my own with apple flavour – yumm); my favourite weekend breakfast is scrambled smoked tofu with tomatoes and spinach, mushrooms, pinch of turmeric and kala namak salt (black which gives that eggy flavour)
  4. Lunch is usually salad with lentils, or lentil bolognese or soup – e.g miso – love it with plenty of veg and udon noodles.
  5. Dinner – here different variations  – brown rice, brown pasta, roasted veggies, plenty of raw fresh salad, vegan koftas made with lentil and millet, bean burgers, pea and courgette fritters made with chickpea flour or pasta sauce with roasted aubergines and beans – this is very good!! When I crave something I drink herbal tea. (ok yes I have a bit of dark chocolate which I usually make myself – mint is my favourite )

green smoothie

How you can work with me

I hope you enjoyed this and if you have any questions do let me know, I am happy to answer,

I encourage you to book 45 min free of charge consultation with me to uncover what is stopping you on your healthy journey NOW before it is too late.

I have just launched my signature Program Fabulous over 40 – Total Transformation Intensive which is 1:1 coaching signature program and I am taking on 4 women this September – I have 3 places available. It is an investment of not only money but time as well. I specialise in gut health, weight management (for life, I follow sugar impact diet by JJ Virgin protocol but with my own version) and diabetes. I include essential oils protocol if you wish as a bonus as well as 3 week total body reset (cleanse program)  – next starts on 30th September

Don’t make money standing in a way to exceptional health for life if you are really keen and ready to do it. Let’s talk.

Love M.

Spark The Revolution – #healthyliferocks

Spark The Revolution – #healthyliferocks

Oh boy, I am not sure where to start describing the experience I had during my recent travel to Health Coach Institute Live in Phoenix Arizona. When I was buying the ticket I knew that I wanted to boost my confidence, however, what happened in the event outgrew my wildest expectations. Below I share my reflections on the most profound event in my life (right after having my baby girl and marriage).

I started my coaching journey back in December 2018 not knowing much about it. I knew that I wanted to make a change in peoples lives and I wanted them to be accountable to their true selves. I also knew that once in 6 weeks appointment would not cut it. I know that as I have been through my own transformation. I could not find a Health Coach but instead, I had counseling appointments every week for 4 months. I needed fresh eyes to see my own self. That is why, the main advantage of the coaching is having regular meetings every week with an emphasis on small achievable steps. HCI has the Become Health Coach Program which can last from 6 to 12 months. Your learn powerful protocols, practice skills labs and opening the relationships conversations as well as you have to take two practice clients through 90-day Program for your certification. So all is very practical with the right dose of knowledge, immense humor from Carey and Stacey (Owners), group cleanse exercises, Coach Connect app, regular lives in a dedicated Facebook group and so much more. You gain new friends for life, you gain a new tribe who understands you completely and above all you gain new life. In the Health Coaching journey, what matters is who you are becoming on the journey. In order to help your clients, you need to go through the transformation yourself. Walk the talk, they say and it is completely true.  I love this definition of the Health Coach coined by E.Neuer  (CEO):

New kind of caregiver, who inspires your intrinsic motivation

During Live event we were asked to describe our revolution and come up with the hashtag. Everyone came up with amazing revolutions for self-love and self-compassion, body image positivity, breastfeeding, stress, and anxiety related topics and more. My revolution is of colorful plant-based organic and locally grown food for everyone, full of flavour and nutrients, that healthy food is fun and cool for children to eat, that movement can happen anywhere and that of good quality sleep which we need to thrive. My revolution is of being an example for our children so they go to the world equipped with tools and strong mental resilience to make conscious choices for themselves. Conscious parenting builds a conscious society and we need that more than ever. My revolution hashtag is:


Health Coach

The event allowed me to deeply connect with my life purpose and truly believe in it. I imagined the life I want to live and manifested my goals. I also worked on limiting beliefs, especially around my self-worth and money. I have always heard that life-work balance is impossible that you always have to make sacrifices and make it very hard on you. I never believed in that! I believe in a happy and fulfilled life which I enjoy and where I have time for my self-care activities without feeling guilty. I have time to travel when and where I want to, time to see friends and family, time to go to my regular doctor appointments, time to exercise and keep fit and time to cook delicious meals and read good books. I love  another quote from the event :

Lean in for things which make you lighter, when your heart beats faster

dr Sean Stephenson

Sean Stephenson

One of the most inspirational speeches I heard, was by dr Sean Stephenson (aka 3footgiant). An amazing person with a heart-warming story and personality. If you do not know Sean please visit Youtube to watch some of his speeches. His unapologetic approach to life is contagious. His speech inspired me to control my emotions even better – Emotion is the currency of humanity – he said.  When we are able to control them, we reach for new levels in our personal growth, we see the world clearer, we can communicate kinder. Emotions impact your attitude, your attitude impacts your life. He referred to parenting and that our most important role is to be an example for the children. We need to believe what we say first before anyone else believes us. He shared this, one of the most powerful statements I truly believe:

I can only help those who swim towards me.

Health Coach

I absolutely loved every minute of the event although days and evenings were long and I could not get much sleep being seriously jet-lagged and full of excitement. I could not believe that got some courage and I flew over the ocean from UK to be in the room full of positive energy, kind people and that I would be sparking the revolution. The revolution we all need to live happy and healthy lives aligned with our purpose. Balance in life happens without effort when you are in alignment because with alignment everything flows. Do these activities which feed your soul and make you feel energized. It does not mean that you will have a life without challenges, you will have the life of your own creation, flowing from your heart. So what are you waiting for?

I am currently offering free 45 min Double Your Energy breakthrough session for my 90 Day Energy Transformation Program. Please book the appointment here or simply contact me on my social media.

I also encourage you to download my bonus issue of Magazine  with healthy tips and calendar for May.

If you would like to become a Health Coach do contact me for further information – we need trained Health Coaches to help people to eradicate lifestyle diseases. Health Coach Institute is accredited by UK Health Coaches Association.

Health Coach

With Love

Monika Mateja