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The Time I Attempted to Open a Business… and it Failed

By 06/17/2022July 25th, 2023Miscellaneous
Kate Lombardo from YogaRenew

Here’s how it went

In 2017 I launched a full business that totally failed. 😬

I had such a strong interest in all-things wellness and wanted to turn it into a career. I was teaching yoga; had gotten my Reiki certification, and was in the process of completing my Certificate in Positive Psychology.

I planned out a full 1:1 coaching business focused on what I called “Wholistic Happiness Coaching” where I planned to work with clients to help them integrate wellness practices into their lives so they could level up their happiness and increase their overall wellbeing… it still sounds pretty good to me when I type it all out.

I had a logo, an Instagram handle, a full website with like 10+ pages of content and custom photos. I got business cards, opened an LLC, and got a bank account. I worked tirelessly getting this business ready to launch before announcing it to the world.

Then, I had two clients sign up and I hated it.

Not the clients – they were great. But I really, really didn’t like the actual work. I was so overwhelmed by working 1-on-1 with these clients and I would go home so drained and exhausted after sessions. Plus, I was filled with doubt and always left wondering if I was helping enough and doing enough for them.

Needless to say, it was pretty devastating. After months and months of preparation and so. much. time. getting things ready– was I supposed to just throw it all away?

Yup. That’s exactly what I did. I just stopped doing it.

I stopped talking about it and didn’t take on any more clients and instead I took time to do some deep digging about why this thing that looked so good on paper ended up not being a great fit for me. I meditated a lot. I dove into my yoga practice. I got quiet. I listened.

And you know what I finally figured out? I’m not a 1-to-1 person. Private coaching, Reiki sessions, even yoga privates are just not my thing. But give me a group of people to work with or collaborate with – that’s my jam. I get so energized by working with others and bringing groups of people together to learn and grow.

In the deep dive work I did on myself, I realized that was always true. I was the one kid in class that loved when it was time for group work and couldn’t wait to give my oral presentation in front of the class. Doing musical theater for a long period of my life and working as part of a cast to perform something on stage was my greatest passion for a long, long time. And even in my previous career as a High School teacher that ultimately wasn’t a great fit for me, it wasn’t because of the actual teaching— that was the part I loved.

So, when I finally learned that about myself, I felt a sense of total freedom because I could finally focus on the things that were going to bring me joy each day.

That’s when I committed fully to teaching group yoga classes and eventually workshops and retreats. I started giving group seminars on Positive Psychology and planning large wellness events in the city I live in. It’s why I loved being a studio owner where I could work to bring together groups of like-minded people and create a community that people felt at home in.

And ultimately, it was that realization about myself and a commitment to honor it, that brought me to leading trainings + courses to people around the world with YogaRenew and building an online community that is committed to sharing and spreading this practice.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is to give ourselves permission to “fail.”

We are told that it’s not ok to give up. That the right thing to do is to keep trying and pushing through until you achieve success. And to an extent I agree with that, but it needs to be further defined and clarified. You should never give up on the pursuit of creating a life full of joy.

But sometimes in order to do that, you have to be ok with failing at certain things and walking away from them. You have to be brave enough to say “yeah… I thought this was it, but turns out it’s not for me.” Because it’s those moments – the ones that seem so hard and dramatic at the time – that often teach us the most about ourselves and give us the perspective we need to make choices to put us back on track.

Those hard times are usually the nudge we need from the Universe to examine how we feel and what we’re doing and decide to do something we love more.

  • Walking away from something not meant for you isn’t failing.
  • Realizing that something you once loved is now something you hate isn’t failing.
  • Choosing to stop doing something that doesn’t feel right for you isn’t failing.

Doing those things is succeeding at what’s most important– living an authentic life that fills you with happiness each day.

So if you’re looking for permission to “fail”– this it is. Fail as much as you need to in order to succeed in the best way possible.

Oh – and one other fun thing? The coaching idea didn’t fully get tossed aside. It got put on a shelf until I could reimagine a way that I would love doing it.

And that turned into the YogaRenew Teacher Collective – our online group coaching + mentorship program for yoga teachers looking to build their businesses.

It’s $39/month to join ($29 if you’re a 200HR or 300HR student or grad!) and it’s *finally* open again for registration.

See… it may be 5 years later… but everything comes full circle if we give it enough time. 😉

Have a great week!


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