Written by: Ashlee Rose DiSalvo, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Years ago I was working full time as a High School Librarian knowing that I was in no way in love with the job for a High School whose culture I wasn’t sure I loved. At the time I was with a husband I thought I was in love with and I coached a sport I thought I still loved. I had just opened my own Junior Olympic Volleyball Club for the High School to provide an affordable option for students who could not afford the thousands of dollars they needed to pay to play. Serving as Director for the club meant that I needed to open the gym, close the gym, and also find substitutes for any missing coaches on a potentially daily basis. This meant I was at the High School for more than 12 hours a day on weekdays and away at tournaments almost every weekend throughout the year. I was burned out and it was starting to show.
Within the next three years I found myself divorced (after ten years with my college sweetheart), had quit coaching volleyball at any level (high school or club), and was working for a new school as a Math Teacher. COVID hit and the lack of connection with students and colleagues sent me into a spiral that resulted in a Leave of Disability. I was lost for the first time in my adult life - the stability I had once enjoyed in the normalcy of marriage and seniority in my career was no longer resulting in happiness. I needed change at every level and I had no idea where to start.
Act 1: Realize
One thing I committed to throughout my divorce was saying yes to invitations. This was a tricky thing because it ended up creating a lot of burn out but the one great thing it did was force me to get out and be social. I was born and raised in New York and had lived in Los Angeles for seven years before my divorce so the only friends I had were from my old school or the volleyball community and now I wasn’t a part of either. So I started meeting new people by hanging out with the colleagues at my new school. This in turn led me to new friend groups with new interests. By being around diverse people I realized a few things. One of them was that I had no idea who I wanted to be. Another was that I had no idea what I actually wanted to do. I thought I knew these things but it took courage and honestly, a lot of heartache, to admit to myself that my life needed an overhaul on all fronts.
Act 2: Resist
Someone I met during this time was extremely spiritual and also extremely successful. We ended up getting very close and during our time together I learned a lot about self care and connection with Source. She introduced me to multiple holistic doctors and healers that she saw to help her maintain her health at the physical and spiritual level. She talked to me about meditation and crystal healing, she helped me to understand that there were different forms of healing, and that truth was more valuable than knowledge. For about a year I resisted trying anything we talked about - the truth was I was settling. I didn’t believe that I could be more successful because I thought I already was. In reality I was stagnating by being satisfied.
Complacency was causing me to feel restless and I couldn’t recognize that because somewhere along the line the end goal became my definition of success, it didn’t matter what I experienced along the journey.
Act 3: Risk
It took almost losing my closest friend to take the leap of faith to start working on myself. We had gotten into an argument on my thirtieth birthday and seemed to be at an impasse. She was my support system, one of the only people who was with me consistently throughout my divorce and, honestly, I relied on her. The worst part was that she was losing herself while she was supporting me and neither of us wanted for that anymore. Two of our close friends who have done hours of work with life success courses and coaching stepped in to help us through the issue inspiring both of us to take action. I committed that day to attend a self-empowerment seminar called PSI and that ended up being the first step of many that led me to creating my business in Spiritual Response Therapy - The Clear Estate.
The most important thing I realized on my way out of rock bottom was to prioritize loving myself again and I attribute this journey to self-love as the fundamental process which helped me to start my business. So whether you’re feeling like you're starting from square one or you're feeling stuck somewhere in the manifestation cycle of your business I hope that by sharing parts of that process (and why I believe each step was super important for starting a business) that it might inspire you to take the risk necessary in starting yours.
Find Your Tribe (The Who): No matter what business you're in, there is a community of people that drive your success. Most of the time your family and friends will be a fundamental part of it. If you are locking yourself in the house at the end of the night to “stay focused” and “remove distraction” then you need to look at what is distracting you and why you don’t feel empowered enough to show some self control. Balance is key and no business ever started without clientele. People want to work with those that are social and easily approachable, ones who reflect their struggles and triumphs alike. Especially in the service industry clients would rather work with conscious feeling individuals versus robots like people who live to work. So take your weekends off and get out a bit. Chances are you will be able to do a bit of branding and marketing while having fun too. On the flip side there is value to being specific about who your business serves. Some clientele will fit your brand or services and benefit from them where others might not. It’s important to figure out who you want to market to and why. Get out and allow yourself to be inspired by the very people who will become your clientele.
Prioritize Your Health (The How): I use the example of having a baby. When two people decide to have a baby to “save their marriage” it almost always ends up in a broken home. Creating during a time when you lack mental fortitude is not a great bet. I know some might argue the best artists were mad but they also weren’t trying to create a company with multiple moving parts where they would be responsible for all the managerial responsibilities that come along with it. Most people focus on financial stability when forming a business but I would argue mental stability is far more important especially if you are working with someone else’s money. Therapy, mindfulness, self empowerment work, coaching, and meditation had to become standard practice for me long before I thought of starting my business and I have found that all of these pieces are necessary in helping me stay grounded and find inspiration when making decisions for it. There is a flow to creativity and staying balanced by making your mental health a priority is even more necessary to help your business thrive then it is to get it started.
Figure Out What You Believe In (The What): Most people would call this a vision statement but it’s so much more than that, it’s the foundation of your business and it has nothing to do with what you're selling or how you're selling it. I’m referring to the spiritual meaning you find in having a solid work ethic. This has nothing to do with the actual work you do for the business but it has everything to do with the spiritual work you complete in your daily life outside of the grind. These questions help me run my business and also helped me make marketing, scheduling, and pricing decisions at its inception.
How often and why do you communicate with people? How and why do you show up for others? What differentiates you as a giver versus a taker? When and why do you say no? How often and why do you say yes? What do you hope to make people feel when you interact with them? What do you hope people never feel when you interact with them? Why do people continue to maintain relationships with you?
Being solid with who you are, helps you make decisions around your business and how it is run and allows you to come from a consistent authentic place that other people will gravitate towards no matter what you're selling.
Take Action But Set Boundaries (The When): Your business is a direct reflection of how often you make yourself and your dreams a priority. If you wait then you might never open. No business is going to be perfect and neither is the time to start. Time is an illusion and waiting to create is avoidance. On the other hand if you work tirelessly then you're probably going to burn out. Only you have the power to work on yourself which you can be conscious of at all times but knowing when to take a break is part of the same awareness. Running a business and loving yourself are daily commitments just like eating right or working out. But with everything, giving yourself some grace and observing some patience is important if your feeling burnt out. The process of loving yourself and putting yourself first is going to reflect on how successful and sustainable your business is. So the work you put into growing your mind and your body is going to impact the health of your business as a living vision. Since the value of your product is directly affected by the depth of understanding you have in knowing your truth then you have to observe and respect your limits.
For help in finding clarity in taking the next steps of your self-love journey or the start of your new business feel free to email me at email@example.com or visit my website www.theclearestate.com to schedule a clearing.
All Things in Love and Light,
Ashlee Rose DiSalvo, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Ashlee is a former NCAA Scholarship Athlete who has worked in High School Education and Athletics for over a decade. She possesses both a Bachelors in Mathematics as well as one in Education and a Masters in Education with a focus in Library Science. She has served as a Founding Director of her own Junior Olympic Volleyball Club with Los Angeles Volleyball Academy and recently started her own business in Spiritual Response Therapy. Her new business, The Clear Estate, specializes in Akashic Record Clearing and Psychic Readings. Within the last year she has also started DJing Tech House shows as DJ Chakrateeze. She is a graduate of PSI 7 and staffs their Basic Seminars in Orange County.