Why I took a step back from my business, and why it’s okay for you to as well

As someone who was raised by entrepreneurs, I’ve always loved business, even from a young age. My very first business was giving riding lessons when I was 15 on the horses my sisters and I rode. I always saw myself being a business owner and horse trainer in my teen years. When I was 17 I discovered how much I loved marketing in my sports marketing class, and my first equestrian “client” was the trainer I was a working student for. I then went on to build a career in marketing, first consulting student entrepreneurs at my university, then working for various marketing agencies, and in in-house positions in various industries.

When the Covid-19 pandemic started in March 2020, I saw a lot of equestrian entrepreneurs struggling with selling their products online. They had to shift their business model and could no longer rely on “traditional” marketing methods that every industry but the equine industry ditched decades ago. I made it my mission to help these small business owners. Not only by bringing on a handful as one-on-one clients but by building an online community with the Equipreneurs Support Group on Facebook. It was so fun to not only see the group grow, but the progress quite a few people were making with their small businesses. I felt like I was starting to make the impact I imagined in the industry, but unfortunately, I had to walk away right as it was starting to gain momentum.

Everyone in this industry is here for one reason. They fell in love with an equine partner. Equestrian sports and this industry is too frustrating and at times toxic to stay in it for any other reason. The first horse I fell in love with was my 15-year-old half Arabian half Chincoteague Pony Paisley. I fell in love with him the moment I met him, just hours after he was born. I met my equine soulmate 14 years later, a grey 9 year old Off the Track Thoroughbred mare named Blue Blizzard. From the moment I met her, I knew we had an incredible connection. She gave me a sense of purpose and direction. I finally had competition goals again and knew we would be a force to be reckoned with together.

Blue, who I renamed Cyan, and I had a few hiccups at the beginning of our relationship. She looked “off” in her hind end to me after I purchased her. After multiple lameness exams that showed nothing, I was convinced I was seeing things. Then a year into our partnership she started showing signs of pain. In December 2020 I was determined to find the cause and took her into the clinic and refused to leave without an answer. The outcome of that appointment showed she had kissing spine in her lumbar region. This discovery made me shift my priorities. I went from focusing on my business to working closely with a physiotherapist on rehabbing Cyan. We were ultimately successful, but I was forced to place my business, Two Point Marketing, on the backburner.

In November of 2021, Cyan suddenly went lame after months of progress. Lame enough to require 6 months to a year of stall rest and hand walking. While it has been stressful and at times heartbreaking to deal with, it’s allowed me to refocus from riding and physiotherapy to working on my newest venture, The Equipreneur Academy. While it was frustrating to take a year away from building the business and lifestyle I envision for myself, it was ultimately beneficial. I’ve learned it’s okay to step back from your business, and at times necessary.

Avoiding Burnout

It might feel like taking a step back from your business is the worst thing you could do, but at times it’s absolutely necessary and well worth taking a break. Whether it’s for avoiding burnout because there are other priorities in your life, like in my case, or focusing on your mental or physical health. Maybe you just need to step back to gain clarity and determine the direction you want to take in your business or life. Another possibility is recognizing it’s just simply not the right timing. You have another career opportunity, focusing on your family, or another reason you don’t have to justify.

Focusing on your health

Your health is more important than anything else. You can’t do anything for anyone else unless you’re healthy. When I say health I don’t just mean physical health, but also mental health! Taking a step back from your business to focus on your health is always an option and if it’s necessary you shouldn’t hesitate. YOU are more important than growing your business. You can always come back stronger after taking a step back to focus on yourself. We wouldn’t make a lame horse still compete, the same goes for you.

Thinking through your business goals

Sometimes we either get excited and can’t decide what direction to take our business in (Guilty) or we feel like there is something missing and we aren’t sure what it is. Taking a break and getting rest is extremely important for business growth. It gives us an opportunity to think through our business goals and take the time to think through our business goals. I knew I wanted to add courses shortly after I started Two Point Marketing, but I wasn’t planning on making it my primary business focus. A year later after I’ve thought about what I wanted my life and business to look like, I decided I actually want courses, workshops, and guides to be my main service. It will allow me to serve more small business owners without having to split my time between them. It will give them more resources and tools while giving me more time to not only research and develop new strategies for them but allow me to spend more time with my horses and on my riding goals as well.

Waiting for the right timing

Life doesn’t always go to plan. There are many times we head down one road towards a goal and are diverted for one reason or another. I kept trying to refocus on my business, and something else would take my time and attention. Over the past two months, I’ve had to come to terms that my riding and competition goals are once again being put on hold, and I’m okay with that. That just means it’s the right time to focus on my business plans and goals. There will be a time where both can exist in harmony. There are endless personal reasons why you need to wait for the right time, it might feel frustrating, but when it is the right time you will see everything happen like it was supposed to.

I’m personally a big believer that things happen when they are supposed to in our lives. If you feel like taking a step back from your business is necessary, then by all means do it. There are ways to automate things while you step back or a tactful way to respond to your absence. When you are ready to return to your business you will come back stronger and more motivated than you were before, which will only make you more successful in the long run.