If you have been following the Stress and Health Online blog, you know that we have introduced a series called “STRESS STORIES” where readers share experiences of stress and how they have or are coping with these experiences. I am grateful to Loran Hills from Loran’s Heart (check out the Loran’s Heart website) for sharing her inspirational story about making changes in her life. I would also like to thank Loran for her patience as it took me way too long to write her story!
If you do not know Loran, she is married with two daughters in college. She lives in a rural part of Utah on 20 acres with 3 dogs, 5 cats, 10 ducks, and 3 llamas! In her spare time, she loves to hike and travel.
Loran’s story is an experience that many can understand. After a long career of helping other people as a counselor, a volunteer, a program director, and a community organizer, Loran decided to make a big change in her life. She quit her job and opened up a business called Loran’s Heart. Loran’s Heart is a new paradigm model for business, based on a philosophy of being helpful to others and befriending them as opposed to trying to undercut or compete with them. At Loran’s Heart, there is a wonderful spirit of cooperation. Loran reports that “coming from my heart space means that I am working out of a genuine desire to connect with people and help them. It’s what I’ve always done, but the vehicle for delivering the services has changed!”
Loran decided to start her own business because of her curiosity about all things related to personal and spiritual growth. With her new business, Loran is sharing her knowledge and experience in the helping profession with other people. One of the main areas of focus of Loran’s Heart is journal writing. Loran states: “I’ve been keeping a journal for 50 years. I combine my appreciation for nature with photography and share that connection through pictures and journaling prompts. I hope to inspire others to follow their own paths towards deep inner meaning.”
It was actually stress and a health problem that motivated Loran to start her business. Loran reports that her last job before launching Loran’s Heart was very stressful. She worked as a Family Resource Facilitator, coordinating a community-wide System of Care for families of children with mental health diagnoses and/or behavior problems. Although she had been thinking about starting a web-based business, it was not until she injured her back that the business became a reality. Loran’s back injury forced her to take some time off from work, but as she recovered at home she found that there was little that she could do around the house. This free time allowed her to outline a business plan and hire a web designer to create the website for Loran’s Heart.
Once she left her stressful job to start Loran’s Heart, Loran realized that being a business owner was also stressful, and sometimes lonely. Says Loran, “At first there was a giddy high that I experienced until the reality of my decision sunk in. The loss of my paycheck has caused some stress, although fortunately we were not dependent on my income for survival. The stress of being home alone was unexpected. I knew writing was a solitary practice, but I missed my friends at work.”
Loran also had to learn a lot of new skills in running Loran’s Heart. She had to write for her income, which was so very different from her journal writing. Also, like many bloggers and online businesspeople, Loran “had to jump into social networking, marketing, developing products and putting herself ‘out there’ authentically.” She also has to manage the marketing and product development for Loran’s Heart, which she believes is the most stressful aspect because it requires learning so many new things.
Loran mentions that she has to face the stress of her own “gremlins,” her name for her inner critics that tell her that what she does is not good enough. She also worries that someone else is doing what she does better. However, she relays that being her own boss is nice.
Loran’s view about the stress of starting a business is very balanced. She does not feel overwhelmed by the ongoing stress, but is still working to attend to everything that she wants and needs to do. Loran reports that her stress is very different then when she was working at her previous job. At her previous job, her stress “arose from being exposed to situations she had no control over, like kids who were living in difficult circumstances and parents who were struggling without resources.” Now, her stress comes from something she wants to do.
Since Loran has a strong background in mental health and helping others, she has many strengths in coping with the stress of leaving her job and starting a business. Loran reports that her family’s support in this change has been crucial to her success in managing the stress. She is also encouraged by friends and her online circle of friends. Loran practices meditation and walks when the weather permits.
Loran has found herself invigorated by her recent life changes. She states that “if I am encouraging others to make changes that I need to do the same, to be an example. There are still a lot of things I want to learn. It’s only been a couple of months but I’m excited about what I’m doing and enjoying the changes.”
If you enjoyed Loran’s story, please visit Loran’s Heart .
You can also find Loran on:
Google+ Loran Hills
If you enjoyed this Stress Story, you may also enjoy another one! Click here to read the other Stress Stories.
Category: Stress Stories