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The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done For My Business (It’s Not What You Think)

the best thing I've ever done for my business

Stillness supports meaningful work. Yet, when it comes to entrepreneurship, it’s easy to think that hustle, high-level partnerships, and employing the hot, new marketing strategy will land you in “success story” territory. And while those elements absolutely play a part in the whole equation, what’s often undervalued is space. In fact, stillness supports meaningful work just as much as anything else (if not more!).

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Making a conscious effort to appropriately and intentionally channel your time, energy, and money in a way that supports your growth and expansion is required for growth.
  • Taking the time to listen, digest your life experiences, and intuitive nudges lead to higher levels of creativity.
  • Even more, the environment you choose to live in, the people you surround yourself with, and everything in between greatly influence the opportunities that can (and cannot) flow to you.

Your Environment as a Conduit for Opportunity

For almost two years I lived exclusively in the country experimenting with an off-the-beaten-path lifestyle to see how it impacted my health and career.

Now, I’ll be honest. This was not an easy choice for me because my NYC life was pretty sweet. I lived in Brooklyn for eleven years. My favorite yoga studio, gym, and local coffee shops were all within walking distance. I had restaurants I frequented and spots to watch live music. My best friends and amazing colleagues were close by, making it easy to attend book launches, birthday dinners, and events galore. And to top it off, my business was thriving. 

The problem?

I was so busy “doing’ I had little space to just be.

If you live in New York City, or even if you’ve visited, you understand that there is mega energy here. Everything is always happening, moving, and shaking. It feels like a race, and oftentimes it’s filled with distractions. While I loved my life and was happy with my success to that point, I knew that I couldn’t live in this kind of environment long-term. In fact, I was craving stillness and space.

And after many years of having a second home upstate, my husband and I decided to make it our more permanent location. (We bought a house in February 2016 and officially made it a full-time residence in March 2017.)

Unlike New York City, my upstate life lacks the world at my fingertips. My small rural town requires a car to access everything.  There are times where I rarely see another human being.

It’s a lifestyle that requires more planning and intention. And what’s magical about it is the fact that I not only have more space around me—a piece of property, surrounding woods, and a beautiful lake—but I’ve found that I have more space in my head and my heart. Moving out of bustling New York City to the quiet Hudson Valley provided me with an incredible sense of freedom.

I learned how to cook, I slept peacefully. I have an office. It held me. I felt nurtured. Stillness supported my ability to do meaningful work.

In the country, I can see the moon and the stars. I can experience true silence. I have nature every single day. While it was certainly an adjustment and the winters are much more challenging, my life and business have completely changed for the better. This simplification has made room for juicier opportunities and partnerships with brands I believe in, like Reebok, Well+Good, Kate Northrup, and The Numinous!

Not to mention, my Moon School program (aka the most fun ever) had massive success in 2018. And most recently, a project I’ve worked on for years, a book, not only sold but sold in a competitive auction amongst some of the most distinguished publishing houses. I’ll have more to say about this in the future, but mark your calendars, because my first book will be out in Winter 2021 via Little, Brown Spark (Hachette Book Group). Holy shit! What?!

Even though I forwent the access—to the book parties, networking events, and unique experiences—so much magic unfolded as a result of me making space, resting, and finding more ease in every day. My social calendar became the most spacious it’d had ever been and consequently, I had more opportunity flowing to me than ever before. Being so immersed in nature became incredibly healing.

The best thing I’ve ever done for my business had very little to do with my business.

Actually, moving was a huge risk. But I couldn’t be more grateful that I trusted my instincts to make it happen.

Space and Stillness Supports Meaningful Work

After almost two years of exclusively living in rural bucolic upstate NY, I have decided to move back to NYC on a part-time basis. My husband’s career requires more city time than mine, so we’ve shifted our lives to accommodate this. For now, we are part-time on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It’s my first time living in Manhattan, and I have to say I am loving this, too. It’s a nice balance of urban vs. country living, and it’s making this Gemini very happy. More importantly, it’s supporting a healthy connection with my husband too. (Though, I have a sneaking suspicion that Manhattan will be short-lived and we’ll return part-time to Williamsburg, Brooklyn before too long.)

I share all of this because I’ve experienced how powerful it is to shift environments. So often we think the path to achieving our goals lies exclusively in the hustle—the hard work, the breakneck speeds, the push. Yet, what I learned through my upstate journey is the absolute opposite. It was through the detoxification of the city hustle that my path really opened up. It was in the deep retreat of living in the country that I found a sincere connection to my voice. And this connection has opened up so many opportunities.

As we close out 2018, I want to pose the question: Are you happy with your home life? Is your current environment serving you and your highest good or is it limiting your potential? Create some space to consider what you can simplify in your life. And make room for what you really want to conjure.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. How do you feel that your environment impacts your performance? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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  • Crystal Carter

    It sounds like you are living your best life Jennifer! I am really focusing on my career for 2019. I’ve actually cut all social media and I’m feeling really good about it. It’s really time that I become my best self and to become more self aware and to figure out my why. I like how you’ve expressed how being out in nature energizes you. I am going to make it a goal to get out into the outdoors every weekend. And to do things for me and not just for the gram.

  • Felicity

    Jennifer – loved reading this, really resonated as I’m also living (almost) full time in upstate New York and the space it’s given me to be quiet and work on my new business has been transformative on many levels. Had a session with you a few years back in NYC – it was impactful still now! Enjoy and congratulations on your upcoming book.

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