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The Real Reason Your Business will Fail

by bevbarnes on January 30, 2014

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Hi there!

I spent the last week in Portland Oregon co-facilitating with Jenny Shih and Kendrick Shope at Jenny’s Make it Work Retreat.  What a blast!  Above is a picture of our team post event.

When you find the right people to work with that complement what you do, you get to do what you do best and not worry about any of the rest.  That’s the experience I had this week.

Twelve heart centred women building on-line businesses got to work with Jenny Shih the best, most authentic business coach that I’ve ever met;  Kendrick Shope a heart centred, sales dynamo who teaches that you can sell in an authentic way;  Amy Prezzano event planner extraordinaire with mad skills at handling detail and orchestrating perfection; and moi – helping you to get out of your own way so that you create a business that you love.

If you are working solo, keep an eye out for complementary partners.  Working with others will infuse your life in ways you can’t even imagine.

I had an amazing time at this retreat, but I got angry.  If you thought that hanging with me was like being enveloped in a loving hug, you’d be wrong.

I got REALLY angry this week and I think it’s just about time that I talked about this here.  This is something that really makes my blood boil.  If you are a Life Coach, it should make you mad too.

I’m pissed.

I’m really pissed.

As I was co-facilitating at the retreat I started to seethe.

It was a slow burn.

I tried to shake it, but I couldn’t.

I decided to go all Karla McClaren (the Language of Emotions) on it, and ask questions.

What was bothering me?  What boundary was being violated? What needed to be restored?  What needed to be protected?

At first I thought I was pissed that business building, marketing and sales coaches get paid waaay more than most Life Coaches.  Close, but not completely it.

I dug deeper.

Then I realized that I was pissed that people believe that they need business strategies MORE than they need help and support to get through their crap.  Closer, but not quite it.

And then it hit me.

I was pissed because no one ever tells you that you need to work through your crap to be successfully self-employed.

It’s essential.  If you don’t, it’ll bite you. I promise. And your business will stall or fail.

And then I was pissed at me.

I know that people need more help dealing with the emotional shifts, fears, losses and uncertainty of self-employment than “how to do stuff” help, and I haven’t been telling you.

You won’t fail or stall because your web-site isn’t beautiful enough or you don’t have a great opt-in or because you don’t know your niche or you aren’t a great copy writer.

You’ll fail because you haven’t worked through your crap.

And you have crap.  Everyone does.

There’s a dirty little secret that successful entrepreneurs don’t share.

They get coached.

Not business coaching.

Life Coaching.

I haven’t told you that the most successful entrepreneurs that I know get coached –  so they can get out and stay out of their own way.

Because the way you do anything is the way you do everything.

And if your emotional life is all messed up, you can be sure it will be reflected in your business.

I’m pissed because no one has told you that the only way to build a great foundation for your business is to build a great foundation for you.

So I’m telling you straight up.

You’ll fail because you have messed up beliefs about money – that you believe you don’t deserve it.

You’ll fail because of the number that your narcissistic mother played on your sense of self that you still haven’t dealt with.

You’ll fail because you bought all the limitations that your racial or ethnic group placed on you and still live by them.

You’ll fail because you are still trying to please your parents – even now.

You’ll fail because you never grieved that high-powered job you chose to quit.

You’ll fail because you secretly believe that you are an impostor or lazy or not smart enough.

You’ll fail because you are driven by your terror of criticism or by your fear of rejection.

You’ll fail because you believe you’re not supposed to be in the spotlight.

You’ll fail or stall because you haven’t worked through your crap.

Let me repeat, to build a mission driven business you need to work through your crap.

Now I’ve said it.

Sermon over.

Anger gone.

Time to raise my rates.

Peace out.

I LOVE hearing from you.  Share below on the blog your feedback on this post.

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie January 30, 2014 at 11:47 am

Thank you, Bev! Thank you for your incredible work at Make it Work: you are 100% right. I never even considered my own “crap” was holding me back as much as not having a clear business strategy. You made it safe for me to consider the crap and how I needed to get out of my own way. I never really considered hiring a life coach but now I see how much that part of being an entrepreneur is just as important as having an awesome business coach. So glad Jenny saw this and brought you to be part of the MIW experience 🙂 Looking forward to the next 2 months!!


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm

It’s so great to hear from you here Jackie. You’re doing this! I can’t wait to see what you create. xo


Annette January 30, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Hi Bev,
I love how you always get to the heart of the matter.
I wish I went to the business building conference!


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 8:33 pm

You are so welcome Annette. Maybe you’ll come to the next one:)


Zarina Boily January 30, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Holly crap 😉 your words are music to my ears as they come at a time where I am starting to build my ADHD coaching business !!! Been working through my crap for a while now because my ego has the power of a super hero and what you’re saying is what I need not forget ! Thanks Bev for such honesty and bluntness. Now, I’ve got no reason to be pissed and many to continue getting the crap out of the way !!! This is one of THE best post of yours I’ve read so far. xo


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Hi Zarina. I’m glad that this post resonated with you. Getting out of your own way will help you to really shine. xo


Daggi Bayer January 30, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Thank you Mrs. Barnes – end of message!


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 8:35 pm

Your response made me smile Daggi. End of message!


Anick labrosse January 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Oh Bev, I love this post! It’s spot on as I’m starting my turtle steps toward building my coaching business and I notice it brings up a lot of crap. Will keep working on it!


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Anick, isn’t it crazy that we don’t expect the crap that shows up even when we are coaches? I just want to let everyone know that it’s part of the process.


Monica January 30, 2014 at 2:32 pm

GREAT post Bev!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 8:45 pm

You are sooooooo welcome Monica.


Marieke January 30, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Thanks Bev. GREAT food for thought as I embark on my MBI training and start the process of building a business!!


Anne Marie January 30, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Wow! Just wow! What a powerful post. Thank you!!


Jocelyn January 30, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Thanks, Bev. Wonderful post. Beyond thrilled that you are a part of the MIW dream team!


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Thanks Jocelyn. Thrilled to know YOU!


Helen January 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Wow, what a great message! You are so right that until we deal with all of the crap that’s weighing us down we’ll have a hard time succeeding. Sometimes we don’t even realize what that crap is which is why coaching is so important and liberating. Thank you for this great post!


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Well said Helen. Thanks for sharing.


Gail Kenny January 30, 2014 at 5:33 pm

You write the truth here. Being self-employed with an on-line business is so far removed from working for someone else. It’s a huge learning curve and not for those who are less committed with less finances to tide them over.

I too have been angry that the most successful coaches seem to be the ones who are the business and marketing coaches. People seem much more likely to invest money in business coaching than in personal coaching. When the personal coaching practice takes too long to make money at I’ve seen coaches switching tracks to the more lucrative business coaching. I still don’t know how to get potential clients to value personal coaching as much as business coaching.


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Thanks for this Gail. I think we have to start talking about what we do in the terms that clients can understand. That means we have to start valuing our work and letting others know how much they need us and how we can help. We also need coaching – getting out of our own way. I also really believe that this service is so valuable that it should be reflected in what we charge. I’m not kidding about raising the prices for this service. I love hearing from you Gail. xo


Lynne January 30, 2014 at 6:49 pm

How beautifully & truthfully said Bev!
A business starts by One’s Self…

It is an amazing, challenging journey being an entrepreneur who serves the world!
I believe it is about growth, trust & expansion.
It is a path that is filled with surprises (positive & negative).
It is about aligning to your true self while simultaneously serving others.

To Your Infinite Truth & Alignment!


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Thanks Lynne! Agreed.


Kristen January 30, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Omg Bev! I was just telling a friend of mine how I have never had so much crap come up like it does now that I am building my own business. You are right on with this!! I find that when I sit down to work on my thoughts and really see how they are holding me back, magical things start to happen. If I don’t do this, I tend to get frustrated and lose interest in building my business. I’m really glad you got pissed off and shared this with us. 🙂


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Hey Kristen. I love hearing from you. Yes…we all have crap and it will all come up as you create your biz. I’m so glad we are having this conversation.



Oscar January 30, 2014 at 9:13 pm


Thank you so much for this harsh but needed reminder. So powerfully revealing for me!




bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Oscar, I’m really glad it helped. The things we try to overlook usually come back and bite us. So nice to hear from you. xo


Kendrick January 30, 2014 at 9:33 pm


This is so true and I love hearing the clarity that came from you admitting your anger.

You are so brave (and a true warrior for women’s dreams) I had a conversation with a client today about getting out of her own way and one yesterday with another about fear and dealing with “what if she fails”. You have nailed it.

Yes I get coached and it makes me better at what I do. We all deal with this but the ones who say I am going to admit that I need the help of someone amazing like Bev Barnes to help me work through it make the biggest impact because people like that don’t give into fear, they learn to meet it and ask for help from people like you.

Thank you for what you bring into the world. We need more women who help people like me get out of my own way so I can deliver my “original medicine” to the world.


bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Kendrick! I love hearing from you here. Thanks for your comments. I’m so glad you help all of us Coaches translate what we do into the language that our potential clients speak. We need you. xo


Linda Bucher January 30, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Perfectly said, Bev! I have a hunch we may be complimentary partners…



bevbarnes January 30, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Thanks Linda! I’ve had that hunch for a long time 🙂


Monica de Liz January 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah! I’m with you sista Bev. Anger is a healthy emotion and a gift from our loving soul when we fully understand its purpose: to get us to the next level of our evolution! Working through our sh*t is the only path to unleashing our greatness and a divine business. I grew as a woman + entrepreneur by walking my talk. I can’t teach others without living it myself. You’re a gifted writer and an inspiring heart-centered-life-coach. Keep shining your light and sharing your awesomeness. YOU ROCK!


Suzi January 30, 2014 at 11:42 pm

I don’t know you, but your name has come across my desk a bunch of times from a bunch of different people recently- so I came over to see who this awesome chick is- and BAM. This. Post. Holy-on-the-nose. I really needed to see this (even though I didn’t want to) and I know I really need to deal with some stuff! Thank you for writing.


Izzy Wong January 30, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Oh, Bev! What perfect timing! And you said it all. At least, you said all I need to hear right now. THANK YOU!!


Maya January 31, 2014 at 12:17 am

Spot on Bev. I really enjoyed reading this one. Thanks for writing it!


Sophia Kevans January 31, 2014 at 12:27 am

Your rock, beautiful lady! Love you Bev.


Jen January 31, 2014 at 2:17 am

Lovely post, Bev! This is something I’ve wondered about as a cadet, especially as it pertains to when we begin coaching as entrepreneurs. As we all, as you pointed out, ‘have crap,’ and I doubt none of us will ever fully work through all of our crap, at what point do we declare that we’ve worked through “enough” of our crap to make a go of it? At what point is the foundation of me ‘great’ enough or solid enough to support a business?


bevbarnes January 31, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Jen what a great question. Working through your crap is actually the work of a lifetime. It becomes a habit like brushing your teeth. If you haven’t worked through enough of your own you’ll get blocked,can’t move forward or work so hard that you fall over from exhaustion and end up not liking what you’ve created. So the answer is – if you are stuck, then you haven’t worked through enough crap. When you start out as an entrepreneur, because it is a personal process of transition, all your fears, doubts and limiting beliefs will show up. That is when you need help to work through it. As you proceed you’ll have strategies and know when you need more help. I don’t believe in working though everything first – its not how life happens. Its an ongoing process. I believe in recognizing crap will show up and having or finding the help you need as it does. The real point of working through your crap is to allow your true self to shine – so you can use your gifts in the world.

So start out, launch and then wait for the crap to show up – then get help to move through it, just as you’d get help with anything else that was blocking you.

I hope this helps Jen.


Brenda January 31, 2014 at 3:53 am

Love your anger. Thanks for looking beyond it. My crap is quivering…


bevbarnes January 31, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Your crap probably knows that it is about to transform.:)


Mary Ann Lowry January 31, 2014 at 3:59 am

Yes, yes, yes! You nailed it. I removed some huge boulders that were blocking my thinking. It has made a huge difference in my success in building my business. I knew that it takes guts and fear may be involved in moving forward, but the fear needs to be examined until it’s clean fear. I was so worried about getting started that the “Danger Danger” signal came up. Who would I truly attract with that energy? I did a life coaching workshop for a group of women in their 70’s last night. They loved the content and the ability to begin to understand themselves. Many expressed the desire to travel, but they’re afraid to take the first step to make it happen. Exploring their thoughts around it was huge. Everyone needs life coaching, as you said, Bev, especially the life coaches. 🙂


bevbarnes January 31, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Thanks for sharing MaryAnn. I love that you are life-coaching women in their 70’s. xo


Summer Howard January 31, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Bev! Reality smack-down in the house!! I laughed out loud at your last 2 lines.

This post made me think of 2 things: 1) The level of “crap-revealing” that happened for me at Make It Work this weekend was unexpected and I. Am. Grateful!! 2) When our MIW fearless leader said, ” Oh, right, I did work with Bev WEEKLY for 2 years before my business started to take off.” haha. I guess we all have a little amnesia when it comes to building that ever-strong personal foundation.

I miss you already, lady!!


bevbarnes January 31, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Love this Summer! You are one GREAT coach. I am so glad that you got even a little bit out of your own way this week. You already shine. xo


Simone January 31, 2014 at 7:22 pm

I couldn’t agree more, Bev! This has been my experience. No strategy in the world can help me if I am blocked by fear. Thanks for spreading this message!


bevbarnes January 31, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Absolutely Simone. Happy to spread this message:)


Jess Ryan February 3, 2014 at 2:16 am

You nailed it Bev Barnes.
Thanks for writing this. The truth of it rings loud and clear.


Kirsten February 3, 2014 at 7:24 pm

This is written in such a powerful and clear way. Thank you for championing this, Bev.
I notice something similar this week as I am finding my way to understand an experience I am having with coaching a doctor recently. He wanted help with his plan for research and getting his presentation delivered this spring… and thought it was about creating structures with me and consequences for himself if targets weren’t met. I had a hunch his success had to do with how we felt outside of work…. and began addressing his apartment and how it was not unpacked (moved months ago) and how he may need to set up home… and all the things you know… and voila! He feels set and ready for a great year to tackle this presentation in spring… and we will keep working together. Even he is surprised. (me too– as I had to face my own thoughts about confronting a doctor with so many letters after his name that I begin to doubt my training and instinct.) Yes. to life coaching– and supporting our foundations first. thank you.


bevbarnes February 4, 2014 at 12:36 am

That is sooo great Kirsten. You taught him what a Life Coach does by doing what you knew was needed and not what he “thought” was needed – irrespective of the letters after his name. Thanks for sharing this Kirsten and it’s great to hear from you!


Kirsten February 4, 2014 at 3:22 am

xoxo, wish we were closer, Bev… I trust our paths will pass again — as easily as they did at the Meet and Greet…. look forward to hearing and seeing more of you online… and who knows how else. I will miss the Summit this year… due to the closeness in time to the last investment of flying over in October (which was SO great too). I will explore this idea more of life coaching vs. bus coaching etc… as I appreciate how you have given some air and clarity to something that perhaps has been bubbling beneath the surface for me–without the words to shape my thoughts. You have helped immensely by putting words to this topic. Be well.


Sara February 4, 2014 at 8:37 am

Oh, synchronicity! I was just talking to a fellow life coach-in-training about how easy it is to focus on what we “should” be doing to improve our business (read: marketing, marketing, marketing), forgetting that rule #1 of coach school is “Live it to give it.” What better marketing tool is there than showing up for yourself and truly being an example of what’s positively possible?

Thanks, Bev, for this great reminder!


Bay Rummel February 19, 2014 at 4:01 pm


Preach it, Bev! I’m inspired to “unmuzzle” at an even deeper level.

Thank you!!!


Silvia February 23, 2014 at 3:01 am

What a brilliant post Bev! It’s about time someone told it like it is! And you did it without holding back any punches. Yeah!

I just happened on this because I’m following a very interesting thread on b schoolers FB group and this post is linked in one of the comments. Good advice. Very good advice. I’m going to keep you in mind when I want some of my crap knocked out of me!!


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