My last “baby” is already two years old, and just like a child turning two, it’s hard to believe where the time went! A business baby is similar to a real baby in that it can cause some sleepless nights, lots of wondering “what do I do now?” and also many awesome, sweet, fun, and special moments that you want to bottle up for a lifetime.
Last year at our first anniversary, I shared a three-part series on starting Refine and it’s always fun to reflect on everything that happened in a year. But at that time last year, I don’t think I anticipated all the changes that would come with this year! In late September 2020, I was informed that Guiding Star (the non-profit I partnered with) would be closing their physical doors, and I had just a couple of weeks to find a new location. In rural Iowa, there is not an abundance of rental spaces available, less rental space that I could afford. This was again another opportunity to trust the Lord and rely on His wisdom and guidance as I navigated what to do with the business. I had thoughts of becoming a traveling business, but after doing that through covid, I decided it wasn’t for me. I had thoughts of just sticking with my online offerings – it would certainly lower costs. But as much as I love my online services, there is something really special about seeing people one-on-one in person that lights my fire. And so I decided to look for a rental space that would work.
After a bit of looking, I came back to a space that I had actually looked at in January 2020 pre-covid, as I knew that eventually, I would need to expand into my own space. The timing then wasn’t right, but after contacting the owner, we were able to come to an agreement and they were able to move quickly to get it ready for me! It was a space inside a strip mall that was not yet finished – it literally still had a concrete floor, no sheetrock, and was one big open space. I contacted my friend Kristin Mellema, owner of Align Creative Design, and she was willing to quickly work to get a floor plan drawn up and plans in place for the details of the space. I’m so incredibly thankful for Dave Cleveringa, the owner and contractor, Kristin, and other subs who worked quickly to get everything ready for the business to once again have a physical presence, as well as my husband who laid flooring and hung lots of board and batten to bring my vision to life!
We still have some work to do in the future to finish off the back half of the space, but I never dreamed I’d have such a beautiful space to work and see patients in. It’s truly become a space of peace and I absolutely love being there!
We also held our first Female Entrepreneur Retreat in September at our VRBO. Jennie and I had so much fun hosting 6 other women at the cottage and we spent Friday night – Sunday morning talking, laughing, crying, working, and discussing all sorts of topics like social media strategies, work/family balance, how to use our work as a witness, and giving each other pointers and help as we navigate algorithms, systems, efficiency, balance, platforms, etc. It was a fantastic experience and we hope to host one again in the future!
The business experienced growth – double the patient numbers, bigger pelvic core classes, and the addition of a new fitness program – Refine Online. This was birthed out of a desire to help women incorporate their deep core into their everyday workouts while also speaking life and truth over them. I combined all the things I’m passionate about and created a plan to help them continue the hard work that they did in getting their pelvic floor strong so they don’t lose what they gained.
I took a break from teaching fitness classes in the new year but began teaching them once again in June when Jennie began working more for me. However, I realized that this was a fast road to burn out and God made it clear that this is not the season to add an extra thing to my plate.
I have continued to wrestle with creating space for rest, margin, balance, and learning how to be more efficient in all that I do. I still work daily on dying to fear, getting over myself, dying to people-pleasing or worrying about what others think, and recognizing that success is defined very differently by the Father vs. the world. I want to pursue God’s vision of success, not my own or anyone else’s. I want to daily walk in obedience with my Father and keep my priorities of my relationship with Him first followed by my relationship with my husband and kids. I want to continue to serve my patients and clients well while giving them quality care, attention, and time. God has shown me that He’s given me the amount of business that I can handle while keeping these priorities in order. When I start to want more business and growth, He reminds me that I would not be able to keep my priorities straight if He gave me more, and this quickly helps me find contentment exactly where I’m at.
I’ll always be a person who is dreaming, wanting to make things better and bigger. But then the voice of the Lord speaks and tells me that He knows the true desires of my heart – that if I build a business but neglect the ones I love, I’ll have so many regrets. That it’s not right to serve a crowd and have nothing left for your family. And so more than anything, I’m incredibly grateful that God’s plans for me and this business are so much better than my own. I’m incredibly grateful that God often saves me from myself and the part of me that would wear myself into the ground. I’m incredibly grateful that my Father is Jehovah Jireh, my Provider – and His grace TRULY is sufficient for me. And I will continue to say what I said from the start, “I don’t care if it fails, but I’ll always regret that I didn’t try.” If it’s taken away tomorrow, I’ll be so thankful I tried, and I’ll find peace in knowing that my identity was not found in a business, it was found in the One who calls me His own.