Jodie in Lee writes:
Almost two years ago, I began on what I believed to be my life’s path, starting a therapeutic riding program. After acquiring my certifications and much publicity, I seem to have hit any wall imaginable, with no clientele. I have begun to doubt myself, my abilities and my life’s purpose. I’ve been faced with unemployment benefits expiring and worry about finances, and a job that would assist in paying my mortgage seems nowhere in sight. I’ve come so far, and don’t want to walk away from my dream, but a light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t seem to be on the horizon. I hope you can shine a little light.
With much gratitude,
Sometimes, when you finally start walking down the path you were supposed to find, the Universe throws a boulder (or ten) on the road. It falls into the “life isn’t fair” category, but as unfair as life may be, you are still supposed to do what you set out to do.
I do see you finding a job within 8 weeks. While it may not be the greatest, it will help to pay the bills. Just don’t let work drain away your passions. Don’t get caught up in the 9-5 machine. Put in your hours, collect your check, but your real job is getting your program off the ground.
While you may have had some positive publicity, the exposure that was created sent an awesome message, but didn’t do anything for the actual acquisition of your services. It’s time for you sit down and revamp your business plan. Your focus has been more on what you can do and provide, more than what you need. Along with being your passion and purpose, you need to be able to dedicate yourself to the program, helping others, and a comfortable existence. Look for an investor. One who can help you with the marketing and advertising, as well as supplement the cash you need to really get up and running. While taking on an investor will cut into your eventual profit margin, you won’t be forced to relinquish ownership or creative control. An outside eye on your business plan is what is really going to turn your plan into a business.
Don’t doubt yourself or your purpose. You deserve props for figuring it out. But, it seems as if your wanting to heal has sort of overshadowed your need to survive. Those two aspects need to be blended in a way that is sellable. Don’t be afraid to work with an organization or a couple of clients pro bono for a trial period. As long as you document the progress and results, and obtain the legal right to use those projects as examples of the positive impact that your program can and does achieve, the paying clients will come.
While it is going to take some assistance, time and ingenuity, your dream can become a lucrative reality, but it is going to take a couple of years. While I’m not going to promise you that things will be easy, I can promise you that the impact you create and the joy of knowing how you’ve helped others will make the suffering worthwhile. Don’t give up on your dreams. Dream bigger!
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