you don’t need money to start your business

©Healing Elaine®, photo by Anita Saini

I’m serious. any other thought is an excuse.

a few thoughts on the above.

I literally launched Healing Elaine® while I was in housing court. literally. a lot of people (who don’t know me) have questioned my path, my success, my supposed handouts or “luck”, because they do not know me or the facts and some have said that I make things “look easy”. things are never easy. at least not the things that pertain to our destiny, or walking into our destiny itself. I also want to make clear how valid, equally important and powerful our destiny may be simply by existing — we are often subject to thinking or believing that we have to “achieve” in order to matter, and that is simply not the case. although I fall partially into that category and it is something I work on within myself, I also DO know that my path is specific — and it simply happens to involve tangible “achieving”. oh how I have wished, many times while on this planet, to be able to be “normal” – to live a life and walk through a life in which I do not feel the internal pressure or desire to live out a specific purpose. but, that fire has been there since I was 18 months. I exactly remember knowing and feeling a fire, as a toddler, in my bedroom during playtime. this specific life-force within me — despite all of the twists and turns and horror I have dealt with in my life — has never left me in terms of reminding me that it was/is there to contend with for outer world purpose no matter what I do. and I suppose a lot of that fire/”drive”/life-force has much to do with where I am today. but let me get back to my point.

if you have read any of my eBooklets or much of my blog, you will get a feel for my path. I have “failed”, hundreds of times, at hundreds of things. I felt like a failure when, after a 5 star education, I could not keep the lights on in my apartment. but, I also knew my challenges — internally and externally — which contributed to that, but perhaps most importantly, the RECOGNITION that perhaps my “failures” had more to do with communicating to me my purpose versus standing in front of me as punishment. once I began to move past the self-shame and guilt around my difficulties, the lights turned on – literally and figuratively. I struggled for years and years after college — part of this was in thanks to VERY clear and bad/sadistic messaging I received early on and throughout my entire life around taking care of myself and deserving ANYTHING at all — to make ends meet. to eat, to keep a roof over my head, and to accomplish the things I wanted to accomplish. since I was not allowed free rent, I constantly had to think on my feet. I was too busy, and under to much pressure, to be “uninspired” (though I certainly had periods of “WHAT DO I DO NEXT?”). and every year there seemed to be a challenge or road block of which I had to conquer, for the purpose of my inner world as well as outer world, in order to “initiate” to the next level in my life. the Universe always seemed to allow me to get JUST FAR ENOUGH before it slammed me with another lesson. this continued to develop my own spirit as well as character and personal understanding of myself, the world, and how those two things combined. with all of that said, it was 2008 when I dove deep into understanding how metaphysics and the intangible realms would actually fit into my life — a matter I had been debating since 2003. I was broke, had just gone through a breakup, and I was outlining 3 major things for “the rest of my life” each day on paper: my creative career, my healing career, and my business/entrepreneurship career. I literally wrote out my first, middle, and last name on paper each day — each name corresponded to the part of me that I would work toward. since NO ONE of us is unilateral or linear (aka fits in a box), of course I had more than one category. in fact, I think we could all be broken up into at least 3 said categories, relative to our personality/desire/purpose. for me, in 2008, I began to try to boil each category/pot. and, kind of at the same time — until each one came to sort of a simmer. this is to say that in 2008 I outlined my acting career, my healing and writing career, and my career as a producer/entrepreneur — a combination of the first two names, with a little something extra.

I started it all by finding a way to keep that roof over my head. this also meant no more corporate work (I left that behind in 2006), so I had to think about what I could tolerate as well as what I enjoyed. so, I worked 3 jobs around that time; I waited tables and bartended, I did a ton of stand-in and photo double work on tv and film (alongside many one-off odd jobs such as a look-book model for various clothing brands, a Pucci body-paint model at Bar Mitzfahs, etc), and I did small production jobs pro-bono so that I could start building a resume in that territory. I probably worked 20 different jobs during any given quarter of the year. I also started to see people for healings — at that time, I didn’t know what to call “it”/the healings, so I would say “ok come over at 6pm. we will walk to the east river, talk through your problems, and I will work on your energy field”. and I would do that. I started with friends and acquaintances. I would talk to them for a couple of hours and lay my hands on them. I would hear their outcomes and be astounded at how quickly things moved for them. but it was nothing new — I had done this sort of “thing” my entire life already! I just wasn’t getting paid for it. I juggled the latter with all of the above, and was always still stressed about how to pay the rent. I was also not ready to announce myself in a healing capacity, though many other wonderful healers or intuitives who I had spoken with around that time continued to suggest to me that I do. I was not ready to come out of that closet though (mostly unsure of how to present it all), and I was gathering my data to do so. I wanted to create a baseline, no matter how big or small — it just had to feel steady to me — of experience in enough categories to “launch” myself. I attended a number of “new age” events within which I learned hard lessons about “spiritual” and “new age” communities — basically I was/am not a fan and learned that just because someone has an “ability” (we all do, by the way), it did/does not make them a better or noble or even good person. it just made them a person. during this time I also focused all of my efforts on landing a real tv role, and I did — I landed on a soap opera just as I had lit an intention candle for every night for 2 years. alongside this tv role, I beat the pavement, waking up for 5am tv set calls and worked 16 hour days for my unseen roles as a stand-in or photodouble. I rented my studio (a SHARE) to strangers from craigslist and thankfully no one was crazy…I was being looked out for by the man upstairs (call it God, the Universe, whatever you like). I put in the grind and I knew that I had about 2 years in each “category” of me until I could start piecing an actual business together. I might note as well, that while I was doing all of this, it was all on faith. I had no “proof” that my life would work out. every day my faith was tested. in many ways. IT STILL IS.

by 2009 I had fully achieved my acting goal for that time, moved away from that somewhat to focus on my consulting business, and started to figure out how to tie in healing/helping people. each time I got to where I wanted to go, the floor would drop out from under me again. the tests were endless. I would be backed up on rent, unable to eat, or whatever. but never once did I think “I need (a lot of) money to start a business”…I just knew that I needed to keep walking. after all, I had succeeded on very little to nothing, as well as very little support from my outer world. in 2011, when I first came out of the Healing Elaine® closet, I ordered my business cards that just said “Elaine” on them; I had a stack for “Aryn Elaine” for my creative pursuits, a stack that said “Elaine” for my metaphysical/alternative medicine/healing pursuits, and a stack that said NYRA Productions™ for my entrepreneurship/business entity. it was also around this time that I was still working several jobs (I, at this point in 2011, had a retail job, part-time liquor/wine sales jobs, was in a rock band, and had my own consulting company gigs) that barely put the rent together. I wondered when things would ever get easier. I prayed every day. I practiced the art of surrender and being present, daily — not anything new, since I spent most of my early childhood exactly in that state of prayer. friends suggested that I aim lower in terms of lowering my standards for living — that I move out of Manhattan (where I KNEW I needed to be), in order to afford more. I refused — in my mind, I couldn’t understand why someone’s goal would be to regress versus level up — I simply needed to do better, and that is what I focused on…while living and being where I felt I needed to be. I continued to rent out my tiny space to kind strangers and share it with them and my animals. I continued to work several jobs. and volunteer. I just. kept. walking. and then, when I was finally internally ready to “launch” “Elaine” to the world, I found office space by bartering my consulting skills. there were times in which I literally could not afford a subway card, and I had to walk 70 blocks to my office to see patients. it was also again during this time, that I was late on rent one-too-many times, that my landlord had had it with me and continued to find ways to bring me into housing court. THIS is the time that my business exploded, because things could not get much more difficult for me, and so I surrendered fully to the notion that what lives within us can not be destroyed — and when we leap, the net will appear. the net, of course, being support, money, or whatever. so I leapt — in my heart, in my mind, and with no concept of needing “money”.

I continued all of the above, every day, like a solider. I also knew that building an ACTUAL client base (this was pre-instagram, thankfully, and no I would NEVER have “purchased” a company on such a platform anyhow) was crucial to moving along. I knew that actual human relationships are what build any business, and I needed them. so I kept doing it. I kept working. from the quality calls that came in off of my crappy free wordpress website with an ugly background that I did not even know how to change. I spent hours per day making sure that I was visible online. I left business cards all over Manhattan. I walked. I starved some days. I felt like a LOSER in housing court on those several occasions (for anyone who ever questions the history of my details I have endless embarrassing documents of proof) and just breathed through it as lawyers and judges literally shamed me in front of the courtroom. I knew what I had inside of me. and I knew that one day they would know it too.

so I was still broke. but after a time, I began to accrue a reputation – not so much online, but offline…the most important kind of solid reputation to build. I was developing a cool army of wonderful people who knew what I did and we cared about one another and our respective paths. and it just kept going from there.

what does a person need money for when starting a business? I mean, really? you don’t need money for an idea — that should be the whole point of giving birth to a business: it comes from within you. you don’t need money for space — you can barter your other skills for that space, or find a way to barter with your idea as it should be good enough or your reasons for bartering your idea should be good enough (where there is a will with integrity, there is ALWAYS a way). and you don’t need money for marketing — businesses are not built on marketing!!! sure, marketing GROWS a business, but if you start without a business, you are paying for the illusion of a business. and as you will witness in the near-future, [they] are most certainly not built on social media (a massive fallacy that is going to crumble). businesses are built on 1) ideas 2) thinking outside of the box when there are no resources — because again, resources are a smoke and mirror for the real work that needs to be done 3) success cases/testimonials. if you are selling a product, or you have an idea for a product like many friends of mine, then SELL THAT PRODUCT before you have it. yes, there is a way to do this. it’s called create one sample. ONE SAMPLE. i.e. one coffee mug. one healing session. one face mask serum. JUST ONE…and sell it to somebody. you can be living in your grandmother’s basement (hopefully not rent free — because the temptation to become lazy will be there!) and do this! you don’t need all of the outer-world “fixings” and illusions of “success” to do this. what is stopping you? an excuse, I tell you.

I have had close friends and acquaintances who are otherwise really intelligent people. they went to the ivies, or whatever. they are not the ones who have access to old money or any money (like so many of these “venture capital” firms started by 20 year olds out of xyz sexy University — that’s not necessarily called starting a company, that’s called calling up connections and potentially putting on a farce…and it happens…). and they are so full of excuses (bottom line: they are afraid – like any human would be, but at a certain point we must move beyond this and stop the fake complaining…such as when our difficulties finally and actually outweigh our fear!), it is amazing. I have said to them, “what would you do if you had that 10k? or that 100K?” and usually they have NOTHING to say that they could not ALREADY start that company with — with ZERO dollars.

I started Healing Elaine® during the hardest years of my life. spiritually, emotionally, and certainly tangibly — and perhaps that destruction is the best kind of “luck” that I could have had in launching an incredible business. and the truth is, I still struggle. when I began making what I call “grownup money” — i.e. I could pay the rent, help out friends and other small business and make donations to animal non-profits and such, I actually put EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR back into my business. to grow it. to protect it (with legal, clerical and logistical services). I never saved. I maxed out all of my credit cards. I have always accrued debt to keep the machine moving, and I did it all in the name of my purpose, my business, my “destiny”. I don’t regret any of it. the biggest investment that we can make is in ourselves yes, but also as well as the services of others who can help us grow. MY CURRENCY WAS AND IS MY SERVICE. I also invest a ton of money into every single session that I do now — because I want it to be the best experience possible. I don’t cut corners and I don’t worry about going broke and being homeless — that has already happened. I can always be broke, but I will never be poor. and there is nothing that is left to be taken from me in this world, literally or figuratively. so the one thing that can never be taken is my business. your business. because a business is not only an intangible at heart, an idea, a service, but a testimony to your path and destiny on this planet. even if you were to lose “it” all today or start from nothing tomorrow, your business would still be there. and you do not need money for that.

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no one “important” is “off-limits”, if it’s really right to connect with them

photo by Anita Saini

there is this unspoken (or, spoken?) myth that the most “important” or “successful” people are impossible to reach, and therefore probably not worth trying to reach.

the thing is, “important” or “successful” people have gatekeepers yes, and protocol yes, but when something is aligned, you would be surprised as to who might respond to you…if you do it the “right” way. and also if you are not unhinged in some way, or a stalker – very important.

how do we know when it is “right” to try and connect with someone who we may otherwise consider “too important” to want to give us the time of day? first of all, intention. what is your true intention for reaching out to person X? how do they relate to you or vice versa? what is your common denominator? what’s potentially in it for them, for you to reach out? you don’t need a tangible token to offer, per se, but you should have more than one thing in common. in order to clarify intention, we have to ask ourselves: “if this person had nothing to offer me, would I still want to connect?” – if the answer is yes, then you likely share something in common with them, beyond what the eye can see. if this is the case, your natural draw to them will supersede logistical bs (accolades, on-paper achievement, etc). the other thing is, very successful people are also very intuitive – despite what you may think about that. some of the top C-suites I’ve worked with have an eye for talent or intention in a way that totally rivals mine! in fact, I’ve been in the presence of such people who have more years on the planet than I do, and have sized someone up in seconds right in front of me — whereas it took me much longer. that said, that super important or successful person you want to connect with will have a natural radar to spot your intention — this is good news if you know what your intention is, if you can state what it is, and if that intention actually aligns to theirs. if it doesn’t, and you try to connect with them, perhaps it will align with them at another time. it doesn’t really matter though, because if your intention is clean then it will guide you regardless – and maybe you will find out that person is not a match to YOU.

the next part of knowing “when” to reach out, is the actual…WHEN. pairing alongside intention is timing. you have to look at yourself like a piece of fruit. when will you be the most ripe, according to your intention for reaching out to someone? for example. a year ago, I knew that certain parts (interests of mine) of me would ripen around Summer 2019 (now). although there were a number of people I really wanted to connect with a year ago (the people who might be too important or successful to want to talk to me), and my intention was on point, it wasn’t the right time. so I waited.

if we can lock down our intention and our timing, the only other thing to consider is whether or not the people we are looking to connect with require a certain protocol. this requires RESEARCH. now, not everyone’s protocol is readily obvious…but, we should do our diligence to understand whether or not it IS readily obvious. for example, go to their website. see if they are open to connecting with people, but if there is a particular “how” that they prefer. for example, I definitely have a how. after you do this, follow the protocol. if they do not have a protocol, then there is judgement that can be used as to how to connect via social media. perhaps sending person A a DM on twitter or instagram is a terrible idea, whereas it may actually work (I haven’t really heard of this though) for someone else like person B, IF your intention and timing are a true match to you (and them). other platforms like Linkedin are a solid potential, and I often do reach out to people in this manner. it gives them the opportunity to either wait, or politely decline an invitation or message without either party feeling offended. after all, it’s business…not personal.

finally, don’t be afraid to break the rules — I’ve had so many people get through to me at really random, but totally synchronistic times, even when I have called off certain work for a time. I’ve broken my rules on occasion because the person followed all of the other rules of mine, was totally conscientious, and it was just “right”. don’t be afraid, either, of being rejected…I get rejected all of the time. it is part of life. not everyone will like you or understand you — but it’s not personal. it’s just the mosaic of this very grey world we live in. keep trying. don’t get salty or bitter over it. breaking the rules — within reason and with enough honor — has afforded me opportunity I would never have otherwise gotten.

when I was young and wanted to be on a tv show, I didn’t know what the rules were for headshots and resumes. I also had no resume. I had a headshot that was totally not the industry standard, but I sent it to this one casting office anyhow — about once a month. for like a year! just my photo. two years later, I took a class with that casting director. upon entering the class, this person stopped talking to everyone who had shown up for the class and looked at me and then said “how do I know you!!??” — well…long story short, I was cast in my first network tv show and it was a highlight of my year (and my life). had I thought too much about doing things perfectly, or the fact that casting might laugh at my photo with hearts and stars stickers all over it sans resume, I might never have landed that tv show. thanks, Bob!

my concluding point here is that when we honor ourselves to the best of our ability and take risks, dreams can happen. if you don’t do it, someone else will. and you will watch someone else living out one of your (many – we all have many whether we recognize them or not, as recognizing them alone takes actual courage) dreams. today I am taking some chances with people who I think are maybe too important or successful to want to hear from me, because maybe I can’t offer them what they need or want right now. but you never know…it’s worked for me before. I recommend you try the same today!

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