Archive for July, 2011
My father was an entrepreneur and a political immigrant. We left Uruguay in 1973 when I was 7 years old. Because of the work my father had been doing with a burgeoning IBM in Latin America, he went right into a great job when we moved here. That is not the story of every immigrant and even then, we knew we were lucky. This job was working for a computer programming company. He very quickly went from being a programmer to being a partner in the company.
I was always very aware of my dad and what was going on at work. I was fascinated by it. My first job was stuffing envelopes for my dad’s company on Saturdays. I was 10 years old. I spent hours putting marketing materials together and then into envelopes. I liked making the money and most of all, I liked being part of what was making the business go.
My dad’s job was also my first lesson in deception and betrayal. Several years into the partnership, my father found out that the other two partners had been quite dishonest with him, to put it lightly. He had been so stressed out before this and then as a result of this situation that it took his body by storm. An already constitutionally weak GI tract problem blossomed into a terrible case of colitis. My father had to have a full colostomy and in leaving the hospital realized he had to leave this partnership.
I was in 6th grade when my father created his own company, Gem Computers. Part of the buyout deal with his partners was that my father could take some of his clients with him. Since he had always been good at connecting with clients, getting new clients via word of mouth was easy for him. Soon, he was making more financially and also enjoying his work in a way I had never seen before. I continued to work with him throughout, doing data entry and always watching him interact with his business. He loved his business. He called it Gem Computers because it was a gem to him. And to us. That business supported our family and helped to send three daughters to expensive colleges. That business still supports him to this day in his retirement.
My mother had a part in this too, of course. She was my role model for following your dreams. My mom was a school teacher in Uruguay. Teaching is her vocation, her passion, her gift. When we moved up here from Uruguay, she could no longer teach since she spoke no English and had to take care of three little girls without the village that we had in Uruguay.
When we moved to Long Island in 1976, my mom met Barbara who was a clothing designer. She too was an entrepreneur, working out of her basement in a house up the block from us. She made high end bar mitzvah/wedding attire for women. Since my mom was an excellent seamstress, Barbara took her on and within a year, my mom became Barbara’s partner. I worked for them too, through my teen years, sewing, modeling and doing other support work for them. And I watched. What mostly intrigued me was watching my mom negotiate the relationship with Barbara and finding her power and her voice. Any collaboration always brings up issues of who is doing more and who is doing less and what the compensation for that is. In an entrepreneurial endeavor, the rules are not as cut and dry as they are in an institutional setting and I watched my mom feel her way through to what was right for her. This was not always easy for her, but she inspired me in her devotion to getting it right.
During the time she was sewing and designing clothes, she decided to get a teaching degree. She got her Masters in Education and went back to teaching at the high school level. She was thrilled and it was wonderful to see my mom doing what she loved once again and giving her gift to the world. She won many “Teacher of the Year” awards and I know she felt proud of herself but also took it in stride. She was just doing what she would do whether the prize was there or not.
I approach all my interactions as a business person based on the lessons I learned from my parents. In some ways, I feel like I apprenticed in business all my life. Primarily in entrepreneurial family business, though I have dipped my toe into the corporate world a few times. I prefer the freedom of being an entrepreneur, even with the apparent risk. I feel like I am ready to take a big leap, into the next level of co-creation and manifestation with the foundation I have from my parents and also from my own adventures as a business owner.
I currently divide my attention between several businesses which are all linked by my passions and my service to the world. Not all of them are equally lucrative, but they are all pulsing through me and insist on expression. These are my Nia business, my studio business, my astrology business and our farm. My husband and I have partnered for the studio and the farm. The studio more mine, the farm more his. In rumination on the 9 P’s of Potential, I see where I must take a moment to celebrate what we have created (I am often so busy workin’ it that I do not stop to smell the roses) and where there is room for growth and expansion. As the trainer business works its way into my life I know it is time to take a deeper look, to integrate, to open myself up to more expression and more love. I love each business like a child and I want to help each one grow into its own greatness.
I love running my businesses, I love the preparation time, the personal growth and walking the talk that must accompany the product, I love delivering the product. I love the look on client’s faces when they dance in a Nia class, hear about their natal chart, tell me that the chard they bought from us last week was the best they have ever tasted. The creation of all of these is such a body centered experience to me. I too feel the joy of movement, I am transformed by reading for them, when I pick and package that chard and commune with my land we are caretaking.
My philosophy is that life on earth is a place to learn to embody our spirits in love. All my businesses help me and my clients do this. If we are here to learn about embodiment, I want to share all the tools I have discovered for enjoying life in a body. Good music, great dancing, good food, self-knowing, creating space for contemplation and integration. Your basic temple offerings.
My purpose is to wholly embody my spirit. I am here to ground and to love the earth journey. It is not always easy and with the pleasure comes some pain, however, if I can remember that my spirit is here for a reason and that I want to feel it all, then my choices become clearer. This includes my business choices as in what do I want to give my energy and time to.
I fully believe in the inherent value of all the products I offer. Within my Nia business, the product is Nia and the product is me as someone who embodies the practices. My clients want their own version of what I have. They know that I walk the path and that the path can show them the way to be their best selves. My astrology business dovetails with the Nia promise; the product is self-knowing and awareness of choice and a path to fascination with authenticity and grace. At my studio, the product is the classes, each one ideally an Ultimmmate experience, and the teachers themselves, As, John Calabria, one of my most successful yoga teachers says, “Make each class a wonderful experience and people will come back for more. They will tell their friends.” We do this one class at a time and one day at a time.
Here is one place I can certainly grow. In my shyness and subjective realm of exploration, I often am not sure how to “put myself out there”. I want to be on the top shelf, right by the front door, as people walk in. But I honestly am not sure how to put myself there. In part, I like my privacy. However, this feels like something I must overcome as I take on the Nia Training Business. The placement of my studio is great on one hand, in a super community with good parking. However, it is in a back courtyard. This is conducive to privacy, but the temple is hard to find. With my astrology business, I sometimes hold back. Still somewhat afraid of judgment and it has taken me years to put myself out, even when I feel it is one of my greatest gifts, I often do not create space for it.
I feel that everything that I do is worth its weight in gold. Those who feel the value of my work in their lives are happy to support all my businesses. I feel I am fair and generous and this comes back to me twentyfold. So much of what people can spend money on is empty and elusive. All my businesses give people something solid that they can use to empower and enjoy their lives right now. Today. I have always felt that Nia is a bargain. I realize that part of the reason I feel this way is because I really value myself and give so much to Nia that she comes back to me also twentyfold. Give a little, get a lot. How much would you pay for real transformation?
Promotion has always been a mysterious bird to me. In watching my parents and their businesses grow, I feel that their most powerful promotion tool was word of mouth. This came about as a result of their excellence and their work ethic. Reliability goes a long way and reputation is precious. I know that for me, promotion begins with stepping out from behind my shy self and truly connecting with people in a way that is authentic to me. This does not always look like the traditional put an ad in the paper/give out fliers to everyone I see. This method has not been very fruitful for me. I once read something about a business that was so good that they did not need to advertise. I like the pathos of this, the power behind it. However, is my business that good? How do I get there? How do the businesses I create inspire support from the universe? I am still working this one out.
Making it happen. On one level, I am great at this. However, I realize it is time to ask for more help. There are just so many things I can do and I need help with some of the steps. I realize that one of the reasons I have not asked for help in the past is that I do not want to take someone out of their path just to help me with mine. However, I feel there is something warped about this belief and am willing to entertain the possibility that somebody else life path may be to help me get mine to the next level.
I love money. I love counting money, I love spending it, and I love saving it. I do. In the first Spongebob Squarepants movie, Mr Krabs is being interviewed. He is asked, “Why did you open up another Krusty Krabs restaurant right next to the original Krusty Krabs?” And his reply, “I like money”. From the first time I heard it, I kid you not, a healing has been taking place in me around my love for money. I LOVE MONEY. I do not, however, love doing “whatever it takes” to get it. I love getting money for doing the work that I love to do. And if someone wants to give me money because they just love giving it away money or they no longer need it and want to share it with me, I will take it. And I will do extraordinary things with it, including, put some in the bank for my retirement. (If and when that will come I do not know, since I plan to be sharing Nia until my last breath.)
Cosmic Salary and money. Is the time and energy I am spending on this planet, in this life supporting my embodiment? What are the tools & skills I have to exchange for services, what are the services I really need to live out my purpose? How can I thrive in pleasure and joy sharing love with those around me?
Honestly, Nia has helped me to want less material stuff. My life is so rich! However, my kids will be going to college in about 7 years, so I am opening up the floodgates. I am calling on my partners and my helpers in divine and lucrative co-creation in like never before. And I am also calling on a yet more grounded and embodied part of me to step into the space too. I feel it is mostly about stepping out of my own way.