It’s hard to argue that learning to break negative thought patterns is essential for personal and professional growth. Even the Washington Post reports on the development of the Mental Health Days and opens the dialogue for parents, children and teachers on the topic of mental well-being. The importance of normalizing mental health issues as the equivalent of physical health issues is a theme that is spilling over from our classrooms into the boardrooms.
Businesses are faced with increasing mental health issues that impact job performance and the bottom line. The stressors that people experience often result in negative emotions that affect all aspects of their lives. More and more people suffer from indecisiveness, procrastination, negative unconscious programs, and concerns about what other people are thinking that prevent them from reaching their full potential.
A pattern emerges where past negative experiences lead to negative emotions that ultimately impede progress. Whether it’s dysfunctional family relationships or betrayal by a partner, overcoming trauma can be incredibly challenging. So much so that it can prevent us from showing ourselves to be the best version of ourselves and succeeding in professional life. Prolonged negative thinking can lead to a toxic mindset, e.g US News & World Report suggested could hinder professional advancement.
It takes creating the right support systems and environments to give everyone the opportunity to learn and overcome negative emotions to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Relationship-conscious intimacy expert and co-published bestseller Women gone wild, Bella Maree Lane, has built a business that helps people overcome adversity and heal from past trauma. Her online therapy programs help her clients connect with themselves by confronting their past, breaking negative patterns and creating their own personalized brands to educate future consumers about the personal growth industry. “The world is made of relationships,” says Lane. “If our relationships don’t work and don’t work, our life doesn’t work.”
The global personal development market was valued at US$41.81 billion in 2021, with projected growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% from 2022 to 2030. These increasing numbers are in the face of global pressures not entirely surprising in recent years.
As the world is on pause during Covid-19, many people have started investing more time in their own self-development. More specifically, the sudden departure from the fast pace of everyday life opened the doors for people to focus on self-growth and alternative lifestyles as a gateway to professional success. “I think there’s a sea change happening,” Lane says. “I see people stepping back and questioning what they’re doing in life. They begin to understand that their personal relationships and romantic partnerships affect their work relationships. Qualities such as communication skills, taking responsibility and empathy are becoming more important.”
The journey of self-growth also includes entering into new discoveries and education. As we learn about ourselves, there is a natural tendency to share practices and habits that encourage growth. But this education can only be discovered by investing time and energy.
As more and more people value personal growth, the time seems right to share skills and knowledge with others. Lane is just one of the professionals dedicated to helping others succeed — including those who think they have a lot to offer and want to break into the self-help industry but aren’t quite sure where to start.
The self-development industry is thriving, but according to Lane, it’s not an easy market to stand out from the crowd either. Without a serious plan, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd and deliver optimal results to your clients. She believes it takes well thought out steps to maximize success.
Lane maintains that having the credentials and desire to empower people isn’t enough when starting a personal growth business. Developing a branding strategy and finding communities that will benefit from your products or services is vital.
If you want to succeed in a self-development niche, Lane emphasizes the need to do research, know your audience and provide solutions to specific problems. It is necessary to study the competition to ensure you are delivering the most innovative and proven insights to meet customer needs.
“Being seen and heard in a world inundated by so-called experts, given my gentle nature, it wasn’t easy to find my niche,” says Lane. “But once you identify your audience, you have a platform to communicate effectively. What demographics are you targeting? What are their hopes, dreams and challenges? Once you know your audience, you will attract the people who will help you with your experience.”
A permanent service
In a climate where businesses come and go, there is sometimes an unwise tendency to lag behind current trends. Self-development services have the luxury of built-in demand, independent of general market fluctuations. This has allowed Lane to develop enduring, time-tested principles and strategies to help others overcome the unconscious blocks that prevent them from reaching their full potential.
While many people make noise and promise quick results all around healing, in Lane’s eyes, quick fixes rarely work. “Every journey has no end. There’s everything that happens to us along the way,” says Lane. “Relationships aren’t there to necessarily make us happy, they will bring happiness and joy, but they will also trigger our deepest wounds because that’s where we are destined to heal, reach our next level and thrive.” She sees the nature of her work as a deep, profound and gentle process that unfolds a journey of self-discovery. “I see a world of broken relationships, and my mission is to create profound life-changing change,” she says.
A successful wellness brand is more than the ability to attract and educate new customers. It’s also about the ability to care for them. “Educating customers is key to retaining them,” Lane says. “Once you’ve helped them on their journey, you want them to carry the message to others who are facing similar challenges.”
Get the ball rolling
Starting a business is a daunting task in any field of interest, and as Lane suggests, it’s not just about finding a niche and providing a valuable service. There’s also the need to attract and retain customers and ensure your business doesn’t suddenly become redundant. For Lane, it’s about finding methods to realize a personalized vision. Lane’s toolkit is extensive, with a therapeutic modality for learning to love, clearing emotional resonances, certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), hypnotherapy and Reiki. Tantra training is also a specialty, which she consistently uses for conscious intimacy.
“I’ve spent over 20 years and 20,000 hours traveling the world and gaining expertise by studying and learning from therapists, world experts and thought leaders in the fields of healing and personal development,” says Lane. “The resonance of my consistent message with my clients and audience is that the journey through them is personal. My success stems from the profound, life-changing results my clients experience and sustain.”
Mental well-being in any form is a welcome sign in a world full of people in need of support and guidance. The upside-down pandemic-related environment of recent years has profoundly affected individuals who manage stressors to stabilize a center of self-confidence and understanding.
Lane has found a niche and need in particular that offers profound healing for individuals, individually and in groups, who are willing to improve their intimate and professional lives. With the first online offerings in 2019, Lane aims to scale up her efforts to reach seven figures by 2025.
The growth explosion in personal development and wellness suggests a thirst for self-discovery and healing that seems unlikely to wane. However, as the market is inevitably flooded with quick fixes, it’s reassuring to know that some, like Bella Maree Lane, are committed to maintaining a tried and steady stream of knowledge for those looking to fill their cup.
The interviews have been edited and shortened for reasons of clarity.