My Journey as a Recovering Workaholic

Usha Anandi. 23 | MARCH | 2021

When I first started Womben Wellness, I was stuck in a pattern of doing everything on my own.

I started Womben Wellness with $300 in my bank account, a lot of knowledge, and no freaking idea how to build a business.

In the last five years, I’ve come a long way. And although at times it felt like I stumbled or crawled my way forward, I’ve learned so many lessons along the way.

In a conversation with Becca, Founder of Kaali Movement, I breakdown how I built Womben Wellness, share the most important nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned, and give you my top tips for success (in way more than just your business).

When I first started out, I felt totally out of my league. I had no idea how to build a business – so any advice I would receive from other people, I would eagerly take and implement.

But one piece of advice I received really stuck with me…

“Learn how to do everything on your own so you don’t have to rely or pay anyone to do it.”

The money in my bank account was dwindling, and the idea of spending hundreds of dollars a month on contractors felt daunting.

If I wanted to succeed (according to this advice), I had to do it all myself. Take on all the responsibilities of my business, and completely override my needs for help and support.

Yep, that felt familiar in my body.

So I took the advice, and I ran with it. I ran with it all the way into the ground… I’ll explain what I mean later…

I spent hours, and hours, and hours hunched over my laptop learning every possible skill needed to bring my business to life.

Using Squarespace, I built my own website (it’s dead now, don’t even try and look it up – you don’t want to see it.)

Using Canva, I taught myself simple graphic design.

I splurged on Convertkit, and ruined more than a notebook trying to planout the flow of very simple automated email sequences.

Set up our Instagram and Facebook, and committed to writing new content at least three times a week.

I did all of this while managing a full schedule of clients, in-person trainings, and retreats.

When I tell you I’m a recovering workaholic, I’m not kidding.

I lived, breathed, and dated my business.

And a part of me loved it.

I got to wear my exhaustion as a badge of honor! I was “busy”, and that had to mean I was doing something important, right?!

But as I look back at this incredibly stressed out phase in my life, I realize something…

Busy-ness, does not equal MEANING.

I’ve wasted so many hours of my life sitting in front of a computer, working just for the sake of working, busying myself just for the sake of being busy… only to shovel dirt into a hole inside of me and a gnawing sense that truly, I needed help – and I had no idea how to ask for it.

How do you break out of a belief that has set up the grounds for your very existence?

Luckily, I didn’t have to look for the answer for too long, my body did the work for me.

I was in India, teaching a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. It was the fourth training in a back-to-back lineup of offerings within a span of two months where I worked with a total of 85 people.

I was exhausted, depleted, and devoid of inspiration. I believed so much in the work I was doing, but I felt like I was holding by a thread. My soul yearned to continue, but physically, mentally, and emotionally, I didn’t know how I could continue on.

Everything was suffering – my body, my health, my close relationships, my connection to Source. Yet the belief that I had to do everything on my own still held strong. I had effectively boxed myself in, and in my stressed out state, didn’t see a pathway out.

In my desperation, I must have sent a silent prayer out to the Universe.

Because three weeks before the training in India ended, I received a Facebook message from a past student.

Her name was Camille, and although we didn’t connect much during her Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training with me, I remembered her fondly.

She sent me a casual email suggesting that we meet to talk about bringing this work online.

In true burned out Usha fashion, I read the message and totally forgot to respond. I was already onto the next thing.

But Camille didn’t stop.

She messaged me again, and then again. Finally, I agreed to have a call with her.

Within 30 minutes of speaking, I knew she was the answer to my silent prayer. She had a whole pitch lined up for me, and before she could even share it, I had already invited her on to collaborate. Within a month, we had become 50/50 partners and started building the rebirthed version of Womben Wellness together.

And there’s NO ONE, I would rather do this work with.

But the process of building a team wasn’t easy. As I mentioned, the belief that I had to do everything on my own ran deep.

Honestly, there were some tasks that our team had to pry from my iron clad fist. I was so reluctant to trust anyone with my vision, and that seriously (in hindsight) slowed my growth and set me back.

In my recent conversation with Becca Berelson, Founder of Kaali Movement, I speak to this. Becca is a beloved friend and past student as well, who has gone on to build an incredible movement that advocates and provides access to free period care for all.

This is one of the few business-y podcasts I’ve done… and it’s RICH.

We dive into topics like: 

  • How to call in the business partner of your dreams (sorry, Camille is taken)
  • Why sometimes, the key to success is letting go of control
  • Copy-cats, plagiarism, and integrity
  • How to connect with and live your purpose

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