I'm just a woman going through the changes of life. These are my stories. This is my healing.
Love caused my business to fail. Actually it was the lack of love, but to fully understand why, I have to share my story. As a kid, I never really saw myself as an entrepreneur. I knew I always wanted to be successful, but I didn't have examples of entrepreneurs in my family. So in 2018, when I started my own business I was simply "giving it a shot" and I loved it! I had never felt more at peace. Of course it wasn't perfect. I had to learn as I went along, but it was exciting. My first two years in business I had sales that exceeded my expectations. I was over the moon! I was running my business out of my home, while working full-time. At this point, I knew Corporate America wasn't for me, so I started working on my exit plan.
Now let's get into my relationship. In 2018, I also started what I felt was my love-story. This was my chance to get everything I got wrong in my previous relationships, right. I wanted to be attentive, loving, caring, trustworthy, loyal and the best girlfriend I could possibly be. She was the complete opposite of me. I was quiet, she was loud. She was younger, so she brought an aspect of fun I was missing. She was affectionate, and comfortable in her sexuality. I was still struggling with mine, so it was amazing to see how free she was. She expressed what she wanted in life and it inspired me to step up to try and provide it for her.
However, it wasn't all great, I was being constantly cheated on. In 2018, was when I first discovered her secrets. We were getting ready to go on a birthday trip I planned for her to New Orleans. When I discovered the sexual messages, I was heartbroken. Needless to say we didn't go. She spent weeks apologizing and promising to never do it again -- and we got back together. Throughout the years I caught her cheating over and over, in more lies than I can count and I just accepted it. What I thought was me being forgiving, and giving us a chance to "work out the kinks", was actually me destroying myself and our relationship.
Establishing a Pattern
In 2020 I planned another birthday trip for her, this time to the Dominican Republic. We had an Oceanside room on a beautiful resort. It was literally the best trip of my life, until I discovered she was texting a man while there. She actually tried to meet-up with him days before we left. There were numerous text messages with different men in her phone. I was devastated (again). This time I was on a beautiful island, in the most beautiful resort I've ever been to, crying on the beach. I wish, this is where I could say this was the final straw and I was done. However, months later we got back together. In 2021, we went to Tulum, Mexico for her sisters birthday. Do you see where this is going? I found more inappropriate messages in her phone. This time I was numb. It was the worst I had ever felt. After we left Mexico, I was broken, depressed, couldn't eat, couldn't work and couldn't sleep.
What makes this story even more interesting, is that in October 2020, I walked away from my job to become a full-time entrepreneur. Now, January 2021, I couldn't even remain focused enough to work my business. I tried to tell myself that my livelihood depended on it and to get back to work! From February to April, I couldn't get my mind right to pick myself up and get back to work. Believe me, I tried! I was just so broken that nothing worked. My business was doing the lowest numbers it had ever done. I was on track to barely hit 1/3 of what I'd done in sales my first year.
Back to the Basics
In April, I had no choice but to go back to work. I felt as if I failed in business, in my relationship and in life. However, what I didn't know was that this setback was the beginning of my healing..
Being back at work eased some of my stress and financial burden. I also began actively working on my healing…and this is when a shift started to happen. For the next few weeks I read tons of books on forgiveness and healing. I watched over 100 videos on healing, forgiveness, faith and loving yourself. I cut out TV, removed all social media apps from my phone and poured everything into my healing and getting back on track with my business. Then it clicked, I was angry. One by one, I wrote down everything I was holding onto and verbally forgave her for it.
However, I still had work to do. For years, I blamed her for our failures. I blamed her infidelities, her lying and all her secrets. It wasn't her fault I was here. This is 100% on me. I wanted her to love me, but during this process I realized I didn't love myself. Why didn't I love myself? Why didn't I respect myself? I needed to forgive myself. I was angry with myself for accepting the things I did during our relationship. I started working on forgiving myself for not loving me enough to walk away. I also discovered, I had things in my past I hadn't forgiven people for.
What I also didn't realize was the effect my relationship had on my business. By me not loving myself I was also neglecting my business. I poured everything into my relationship, I didn't have anything left to give to myself or my business. I wasn't happy, but I didn't care. I was so focused on keeping her happy, I didn't realize how much that was tied to the success of my business. When I looked back over the years, when we had good months in our relationship, my business had good months. The same was with the opposite. I also wasn't growing as I thought I was, I was delusional in where I was in my entrepreneurial journey. I now know, my mind wasn't focused because of everything we had going on in our relationship.
What I learned from this is that it's extremely important as an entrepreneur to chose your partner wisely. This decision can make or break your business, if you allow it to. The more I listened to podcasts and read, the more I discovered I wasn't alone. However, she still wasn’t the reason for my failures. How could I be successful if I didn't love myself? How can I expected to be respected, if I didn't respect myself? This is the reason I failed in business! I own it and guess what? I've been working hard to change it. Therapy, healing, reading, connecting spiritually, forgiveness…whatever it takes! I owe myself this! As an entrepreneur it's important to protect your peace because that is tied to your business.
Where am I now? Now, I don't feel like a failure. I have a chance to build my business the right way. I have a chance to fall in love with myself. This is not the end for me. I'm still working through my healing. What I've learned is that forgiveness isn't a one time deal. It takes consistent work. The next time I get a chance at full-time entrepreneurship, I'll be ready. Until then, I'll continue working my business part-time and focusing on building it the right way. More importantly, I'm working healing and loving myself.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Tiffany J