ALA Turns 5! Best Decision I Ever Made

November is a month of gratitude. It is the time of the year when we close our businesses, take off our professional hats, and spend time with our loved ones. It is a time to be thankful for all of the blessings that we experienced, including the professional ones.

Yesterday I completed a coaching program with a client. At the end of the session, the client said that going through the coaching program was the best decision he ever made. Wow! What an impactful statement! What an honor to celebrate and appreciate. As I reflect back on my life, I realize one of the best decisions I ever made was to start my coaching business.

Wait! What? That was 5 years ago. In November 2016, I sat down with my boss in the Process and IT Department where I worked. I talked with him about starting my own business while still working full time. My start-up business was called Achievers Living Abroad (ALA). My goal was to coach executives through the cultural transitions of working in a foreign country. I believed in this business model, and I was ready to start something new. I was willing to take a risk.

That was 5 years ago. Success is not a straight line, but I would rather take a risk and fall forward than get stuck in fear and not go anywhere. Fast forward to today. I am a Business Coach and Life Coach. I help many executives, but in a different way than I initially envisioned. My coaching helps them through the ups and downs of their businesses and their lives.

Having a successful mindset is the first step to being successful in business. Anyone can want to do something more with their lives, but those who are successful are not afraid to make mistakes, get their hands dirty, and be vulnerable. They are flexible, take an unconventional approach to challenges, are willing to pivot, face unknowns, step outside of their comfortable zone, trust themselves and their ideas, and take risks.

The only voice to hear is the voice that believes in you. I have heard many times that I am woman and international. I do not have a mom and dad who can connect me with key businesses. All of these limiting beliefs are noise. They are excuses for people who do not try because they are afraid to fail. Yes, it is challenging, and these challenges make me a better coach and successful business owner. I am confident in my own ideas and strengths. It is not all rainbows and roses, but there are joys and rewards, despite the obstacles.

Owning a business is like having a baby. At first, the baby cries nonstop. You lose sleep. You question yourself. But you love the baby, and you can’t even explain the joy that the baby brings to your life. You see the baby grow, and the baby’s success is somehow your success, too. You can’t stop talking about your baby. You show him off to strangers, and talk about him to anyone who will listen. Having a babysitter is not easy, but as the baby grows, you need to delegate tasks. You remember your baby’s first word, first step, first fall. You see that your baby’s clothes no longer fit, because the baby is growing! 

Every stage is joy. I have not reached the teenage years of my business yet, but I am sure these years will have their own rewards and challenges. Let’s not worry about the future and just focus on the present. Let’s celebrate the success of Aspire. LIVE. Achieve.

I believe my determination and my futurist mindset five years ago led me to the success I’m experiencing now. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful to be around my loved ones and thankful for the impact I made for businesses and personal lives. I am thankful for reaching my 5-year business anniversary and thankful to everyone who contributed to its success. Starting my own business was the best decision I ever made. 

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