Entrepreneurship Lessons Learned from a 10-Day Vipassana

10 Days, meditating 6-8 hours a day. No talking, no tech, no reading, no writing, no exercise. 

Wow…Vipassana was TOUGH. (Tough, like, my body hurt like it does after running a marathon…) 

But it was amazing! 

Wake at 4:30am. Meditate. Breakfast/break, 6:30-8am. Meditate. Lunch/break, 11am-1pm. Meditate. Fruit/break, 5-6pm. Meditate. Sleep, 9:30pm.

Everything I learned at the Vipassana is all you need to know to succeed and grow as an entrepreneur!

{Note: I’m supposed to be inspiring you to kick butt in your business, telling you about the benefits of my business coaching programs & working with me, giving you tips to slay your business goals…but THIS below is the core foundation you need to grow your business and make great money doing work you love}.

Here are the lessons about entrepreneurship learned at a Vipassana:

HARD WORK — The great Vipassana teacher S.N. Goenka constantly repeated this throughout the course “Work hard. Work diligently. Work patiently and persistently. And you are bound to be successful, BOUND to be successful…”. 

Sitting completely still for 1 hour at a time is f’ing hard work!! (Try it – it’s called “sittings of strong determination”).

Running and growing your business also takes hard work, actions, strategies, dedication, passion. Work diligently and persistently and you are bound to be successful…

FOCUS — Try focusing on nothing but your breath for 60 seconds straight….wayyy harder than it seems, right?! Meditation uses the focus of your attention to achieve concentration of mind with constant applied attention. Growing a successful business takes FOCUS. 

You’ve been writing a book for years, haven’t called that person you should, watch YouTube, tweak your website again, sit on social media half the day, take more “trainings” than doing actual work to grow your biz, compare yourself to others, and so on… and you wonder why you’re not making money??  It takes FOCUS. Focus on each step, one at a time.

KNOW NOTHING IS PERMANENT — “Anicca” is the universal law that all things are impermanent, everything is always changing. Just like the smallest subatomic particles are always moving. Just like in business. Your purpose changes…you might be at a corporate job you hate right now, become a health coach by October, and an acupuncturist in three years. Income changes…you might make $40k last year and $400k this year. Clients change. Economy changes. Your values change. Your life changes. The world changes. Evolution. 

PRESENCE — We spend most of our time lost in fantasies and illusions, reliving past experiences (pleasant or unpleasant), or anticipating the future with eagerness or fear (pleasant or unpleasant).  While lost in our past/future “cravings” or “aversions”, we are unaware of what is happening right NOW, and what we are doing right NOW. Business success is a constant practice of mindful presence to keep going forward into the “unknown”, despite your fears and monkey-mind that wants to “know how things will go”.

HAVE COMPASSION — “Discover real peace and harmony within yourself, and naturally this will overflow to benefit others….One who has love and compassion with a pure heart experiences the Kingdom of Heaven within. This is the Law of Nature, or if one would rather, God’s will”. 

Having compassion for ourselves is most often harder than having compassion for others. Work hard, but don’t beat yourself up. Self-compassion is the key to getting past your fears and procrastination. Learn to love and trust yourself, with “mistakes”, “imperfections” and all.

Trusting in the process and journey of entrepreneurship and letting go of perfection is the best thing you could possibly do to guarantee success in your business!

ACCEPT REALITY AS IT IS — Develop equanimity…this does NOT mean complacency! This means Sh*t happens and Awesomeness happens. Stay balanced.

Potential clients say “no”. You make $100k in a month!  Website breaks during a launch. You sign 10 new clients! Client owes you money and bails. You’re published in the New York Post!  

Haters hate, fans love. This is the nature of reality when you step into your entrepreneurial role as a leader and a change-maker.

As an entrepreneur, the more you develop deeper equanimity—balance and calmness of mind and reaction, to accept reality as it is, whether “good” or “bad”, the quicker you will keep moving forward and going on. If you have big success and get comfortable too long, you lose momentum. If you face challenges, and linger in upset and breakdown, you lose momentum.

The more you accept reality as it is, the more you will be free from suffering caused by your attachments to the “good” or “bad”, and the more you will allow in and be okay with ALL the feelings of the entrepreneurial journey…and remember that it’s just that, a journey!

True peace, abundance, freedom and happiness is possible for you.

Develop awareness of your thoughts and to truly know your authentic self will make you happier, create more impact, more abundance and freedom for yourself, and all of the earth.

This is your year to receive abundance in exchange for all you are here to give. 

What are YOU giving yourself and the world, and receiving back this year?

 – Beth Weinstein

(Article originally published in January 2018).