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Ep. 6 – Lessons from the Trail: Finding Beauty and Growth in Tough Seasons In Your Business

Have you ever have one of those, “I’M DONE!” in all capital letter days in your business?

Welcome to The Selah Entrepreneur podcast. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about finding encouragement during the hard seasons.

Life is full of ups and downs, whether it’s in personal or business life, and it’s during the tough times that we need to remember to look for the beauty around us.

In this episode:

  • We’ll explore how we can find growth and positive changes during difficult times, just like the changes we can see in nature after a storm
  • I share my own experiences of finding inspiration on a hiking trail after hard winter season and how it relates to the business world

So, if you’re going through a tough season in your life or business, be sure to stick around for some words of encouragement for when:

  • The days or seasons when nothing seems to be going right
  • Your clients are frustrating
  • Your plans are falling through
  • You are questioning your ability to run a business
  • You are wondering, why did I ever start this business in the first place?

We’ve all had them. I’d like to offer you some encouragement for you to remember on those bad days and during those tough seasons. So, let’s dive in!

Photo gallery of our morning walk:

Links & Resources:

  • FREEBIE: Feeling stressed and anxious on your journey to find clarity? A practice of daily gratitude can make a huge difference. In fact, if you let it, it can change everything. Jumpstart your gratitude habit with my 7-Days of Gratitude Starter kit here:
  • If you would like help getting clear about you and your business? Business Clarity Coaching is your opportunity to get personalized support as you start your clarity journey: Visit to learn more.

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Episode Transcript:

Marta Goertzen [00:00:00]:

Do you ever have one of those? I’m done an all capital letter days in your business, the days or seasons when nothing seems to be going right, your clients are frustrating, your plans are falling through, and you question your ability to run a business, and you wonder, why did I ever start this business in the first place? We’ve all had them. The client with a large invoice that pays really late, the project that you’re working on goes complete sideways. You feel off and you don’t know why. The tech gremlins are working overtime, you’ve got somebody sick in your family, and you can’t keep up with work and the caregiving. Your chronic pain or health issue flares up, and it lays you down flat for days. Your inbox has dried up, that clients have seemed to have disappeared, and there’s so many other things that can happen as entrepreneurs today. I’d like to offer you some encouragement for you to remember on those bad days and during those tough seasons. Hello there, and welcome to the Selah Entrepreneur podcast, where we take a look at doing online business a little differently for women over 50.

Marta Goertzen [00:01:01]:

I’m your host, Marta Goertzen, entrepreneur and business owner since 2008. And for far too long, I struggled with trying to figure out what I wanted to be when my business and I grew up. I was tired of buying all the courses and downloading all the freebies all in the hope that the answer I was longing for would suddenly appear. Turns out, clarity doesn’t come in an instant. It’s a journey of discovery and finding answers layer by layer. As I took action, I learned what type of work I really loved to do, who I had fun serving, and the problems I love to help them solve. That clarity gave me the confidence to start designing a simple, sustainable business that I could steward well, and I’d love to help you do the same. If you’re ready to find the clarity you’re longing for, then you’re in the right place.

Marta Goertzen [00:01:44]:

Let’s take this journey of discovery together. Welcome to episode six encouragement for the bad days or hard seasons in business, part of my morning routine is I roll out of bed, throw on my jeans and a flannel, grab my dogs and their leashes, and we jump into the car and we head out for our morning walk. Our walks have become a habit, and over time, they become essential parts of my morning for managing stress and anxiety. I am extremely blessed in where I live, and I live on a beautiful stretch of the Oregon coast and where I am situated. Within about 15 minutes, I can get to the beach, several different lakes, several different forest trails, and even a few different parks with gorgeous walking trails that are in beautiful surroundings. We go out just about every day, rain or shine, except when we have a downpour, which can happen a lot in the wintertime. On those days, it’s a dash out into the yard and a quick dash back in. If I can even get one of my dogs to get into the grass, he really is, he’s not a fan of wet grass.

Marta Goertzen [00:02:49]:

But we come back in soaking wet and we settle in and wait for the rain to break. With all the options available to us, it’s rare that we walk in the same place twice again. We are extremely blessed in our choices here and an embarrassment of riches. And since walking around our community is quite difficult, I’m so grateful that we have places we can go. Last week, we headed out to one of our favorite lakes, and it’s quite a sizable lake for the area, and it has trails going off to the right and the left. Years ago, they promised at one point that the two trails would mean and you’d be able to traverse the whole lake. I think they’ve given up on that idea. So they’re now a hike in and hike outside trail on one side.

Marta Goertzen [00:03:32]:

It’s about a three mile hike in and then hike back out the second side. I don’t think they’ve ever really mapped it out because you get to a certain point and you’re bush whacking, but it’s got incredible viewpoints that you can side trails. Like take you to viewpoints over the lake, and it’s a much more rugged side. So one side is quite well groomed. You see benches along the way, they’ve cleared out spots where you can have viewing trails, viewing spots from the trail, and it’s gorgeous. But on the other side, it’s not a groom trail, it’s not as well maintained. It is quite a bit more rugged, but it is gorgeous in its own way. And this year, because we did have quite a severe wintry storm, winter, lots of rain, we had probably one of the wettest winters and springs we’ve ever had on record, and we had some sizable windstorms.

Marta Goertzen [00:04:25]:

So the combination of all the wet ground and all the wet soil and all that wind, it caused a lot of damage from those storms. And a lot of that damage was falling trees, falling branches, water rivulets coming down, turning into many rivers coming down the trails and just creating a lot of havoc to the point where the lake itself actually flooded and we were blocked from the trail. Plus then it took extra time once the flooding went down to go back in and clear up that trail. So we decided it’s summertime, the boats are coming back out to the lake, the campground is filling up, so I thought we’re going to go check that trail out today. I’m wondering if they cleaned it up with more people. And it was and it’s been impassable for so long. So it was actually kind of fun to go explore this trail that we haven’t seen probably since last summer or last fall. And I was excited to see what had been cleaned up and how far down the trail we could go.

Marta Goertzen [00:05:24]:

Wow. I was really not prepared for how much that trail had changed. There were fallen trees everywhere, and not little tiny trees, big, huge trees, broken branches, huge tree trunks uprooted with all their roots sticking up, and huge, tall trees that had fallen down the side and were now in the lake. It was actually kind of startling. But once I got past that initial shock, the beauty I started to see was inspiring. It really was amazing. There was new growth everywhere. The trees that had fallen in the lake were now providing shelter for all sorts of animals and creatures, and it’s something that will benefit the lake for years to come.

Marta Goertzen [00:06:06]:

I could see more salmon berries growing than I’ve ever seen on that side of the trail before. There were gorgeous, huge ferns and flowers everywhere. The birds were singing louder than I’ve ever heard them before. And even the scars left by the uprooted trees that left huge gaps on the hillside, you could see new growth coming through, walking down the path, and it just felt like you were being shrouded or encompassed by these big, huge green the green growth, it really was just quite amazing. Even the downed branches made some fascinating natural art that gave the trail personality it’s never really had before. And the trees that had been cut down, and they were huge, they had to use chainsaws to cut through them and move them off of the trail. You could clearly see how old that tree was, and you could see all the rings of the tree, and you wondered what all that tree had seen over its long, long years. And it’s always fun to look at those down trees and what is growing off of those trees.

Marta Goertzen [00:07:07]:

We find flowers and ferns and some of those volunteer seeds that fall everywhere and start growing in those unusual places, and fungus and moth. If you took the time to look, there was a lot of beauty in the moments of winter’s fury. I can only imagine with all that rain coming down and creating rivers coming down the trail and carving its own path, or the wind blowing so hard that it was knocking down what I’m estimating could be 40, 50 foot trees. Those would have been pretty scary moments to witness the destruction left in the wake of flooding and wind and rain damage. It would have been scary and probably really discouraging if you were the one that you knew had to go back and clean it up. But then if you thought about it after the storm had passed and after things had calmed down, the sky would have cleared, those little mini rivers flooding down the trail would have stopped and trickled away to nothing. The paths would have eventually did dry out. The crashing of those falling leaves would have silenced.

Marta Goertzen [00:08:09]:

The birds would start singing again. Squirrels would emerge from their hiding spots, the insects would start buzzing again, and spiders would start spinning webs. And yes, nobody had been on that trail very much, I don’t think, that morning last week, because I’m quite sure I cleared it of all spider webs and spider threads across that trail that day. And things started growing again, filling in the empty spaces and the damaged spaces. It’s hard to see growth in the moment, in the moment of what’s going on, the crisis or the hard day. It’s hard to see what’s going on, what’s hard to see what could be emerging. It’s only after the hard stuff that has passed that we can turn around, look back and see the beauty of what that hard stuff became and is becoming. If you’re going through a tough season in business, first I want you to know you’re not alone.

Marta Goertzen [00:09:03]:

Entrepreneurship is one of the most intense personal development programs out there, and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. But again, tough seasons are important seasons. One, you come out stronger for having weathered them. You build resilience to weather the next storm. You learn so much about yourself. Your priorities often become crystal clear in a moment. And it’s easier to look at your business, see what’s working, what’s not, what needs to go and what needs to stay. Growth emerges from these tough seasons, growth that wouldn’t have happened without all that hard stuff.

Marta Goertzen [00:09:38]:

And if you look, and sometimes you have to really look, but if you look, you will see beauty. Beauty and how you made it through. Beauty in how you were supported, beauty in what you learned, and beauty and how you see things differently. Now, we never asked for the hard stuff, but I can tell you that as I look back on some of my hard seasons, I see growth, I see beauty. I see who I am as a business owner today who is different than the person that was before that hard season. I am a better listener, I am more empathetic, and I can help others going through similar tough times. As much as I wouldn’t want to go through some of those tough seasons again, I wouldn’t be who I am today without them in life and in business. The visible scars I was seeing on the side of this trail, there were sections I actually had to pick up.

Marta Goertzen [00:10:28]:

I have little dogs, little low riders. I had to pick them up and carry them over the larger stumps that they hadn’t been cleared away. And the damage and the loss of trees was hard to see. But the lush green, the loud birdsong, more than I’ve ever again, more than I’ve ever heard on that trail before. The light coming through the trees, the layers of new growth of flowers and trees and ferns, it really was spectacular. And this can be the same for us in business if we let it. If we take the hard times and learn from them and grow from them, if we take the time to reflect on that hard season, that the hard stuff that we’re going through, what we learned, what we know now, now that we are on the other side, and also if we take the hard times, what we learned and turn around and help someone else. This experience on the trail was so I don’t know if I have words for it, but it was so inspiring.

Marta Goertzen [00:11:22]:

I came out of that trail just in awe and wonder, and there’s several thoughts that came to mind. First is one of my favorite quotes from John Muir. In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. And that was definitely true on this walk. I was so inspired by what I saw on that trail. Again, I keep using the word awe and wonder. I was in awe of what I saw on that trail. And secondly, especially for those of us who are believers, we believe that God can bring beauty from ashes and from the hard time and from destruction that I was seeing on that trail.

Marta Goertzen [00:12:02]:

And that comes from Isaiah 61 three. And I saw that on that morning, on that trail, in that moment. It was really quite something. And if you would like to see, as is my habit, I take a lot of pictures on our morning walks. If you would like to see some of the destruction that I was seeing and then some of the beauty that was emerging from everything that we saw, from all the fallen trees and the uprooted trees. If you would like to see those, you can see those pictures on the blog post for this episode at Thanks for joining me. I hope you found some clarity or an AHA moment that inspires you to take some action today.

Marta Goertzen [00:12:45]:

Before you go, could I ask a favor? I would really appreciate it if you could take a few seconds and leave a review of this show in the Apple podcast app. Your review really does make an impact, help spread the word about this show, and gets it in the hands of other women who are looking to build simple and sustainable businesses of their own. Until next time.

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