Hubud Killed my Design Business, (and gifted me my life)

I remember the day I first heard about Hubud. I was sitting in a cubicle I shared with 2 other people in a co-working space in a cute surfing tourist town, Sayulita, Mexico. It was the first time in 3 years I had worked with other people around me. The first time since becoming an entrepreneur, I hadn’t been alone in my home office day after day, and I thought it was great. Someone to tap on the shoulder and ask a quick questions to, someone to enjoy moments with, conversations and sales pitches I get to overhear across the room. Most of all, people who became my friends.

One day as I was expressing this, a friend of mine said to me. “You think this is great, you should checkout Hubud.” “What’s a Hubud?” I said. He laughed. My web browser opened, and the famous first words tumbled across my page. “Our Work Is Changing”.  I had no idea how prophetic and funny these words would become to me. 

I did know that I was hooked, I knew I would go there and work. It had dream life bucket list written all over it.

I planned for October of that year, and things came true even faster. By mid August I was flying to Bali, and solo, without Alex in tow (a major miracle in and of itself!) The very first thing I did when I landed was go to Hubud for social hour. I met people. I laughed so hard I cried and had to step away from the vortex of hilariousness. The next night was Invasion X. As a single mom, recently escaped into a few months of single 29 year old nomad freedom, it was mindboggling awesome! I danced, I partied, I stayed up way late, and slept in until no one woke me up.

Then Bali did what Bali does. It asked me to grow.

In those first weeks of being here, not only did I quickly decide that I was going to make Bali my home. But I got a glimpse into other nomad’s worlds. I got to sit in a Tribe Wanted meeting, and hear someone else who REALLY understood UX/UI design speak to someone’s question. I got to hear someone who was PASSIONATE about plugin design (seriously? I don’t get it, but he was stoked!) I got to listen to someone who really knew marketing hash out ideas and give advice in 5 min flat. I got to listen to so many people who are experts in their fields. My field. For the first few days I was awestruck, overwhelmed at my incompetence, and their brilliance, and in a space of shock at the difference between the two.

It was hard for me to even show up at Hubud,
because I felt like a fraud.

See as someone who was self trained, and had never officially attended marketing school, design school, business school or anything of the sort,  I had very early on niched early on into “graphics and websites for new age, healer types who know nothing about such things and desperately need help.”  I was automatically an expert. I mean, I was working with people who couldn’t set up their own paypal accounts, and sometimes struggled with signing into their FaceBook accounts. NO ONE in that world knew any better than I did.

When I came to Hubud. That all changed. Suddenly I was at the bottom of the knowledge pool. In theory you think that would have made me super keen to learn, expand and find out more about what there was to know about UX/UI/Amazon Selling/Marketing/Graphics etc. That was part of why I had come here! To learn from amazing people, and to grow my skills!

In fact it did exactly the opposite. It catalyzed something that had been deep inside my business and myself for a long time. Which was that I wasn’t really that passionate about marketing others. I had kind of fallen into it, out of necessity, and requests from others, and built myself up as the “go to person” in my own little very niche community. (as you should do in any business, and especially the marketing world) and although I’d studied some courses, and watched others peoples marketing campaigns, I really had no idea or interest into delving really deep into any of it. The idea of A/B testing other people’s products made my skin crawl. Not a good sign.

So within a few short weeks at Hubud, I had finished up my last few projects. Bailed completely on one that was a project from hell that had been lagging and vamping my energy for months and quit it all. Giving myself a new sense of freedom in the world.

So what do I want to do NOW? Now that I’m not lying to myself every day about liking my work.

The answer became clear and obvious, as I talked to people about what I was doing here and what my journey had entailed. This long standing lover and project of mine, JoyGasm, wanted to be born, here. Now. As I looked around at Hubud, I saw some applications for it here, I saw some people talking about the ideas of Orgasmic Writing, The Art of Adventure, Killer Morning Routines, and Mindfulness to change your life. There was some potential for my message to be heard here. Then I began to open my eyes to the world outside Hubud.

When I looked outside those bamboo walls, to the streets and restaurants, and yoga studios and healing centers of Ubud. I realized that my potential in this place, that I had come 1/3 of the way around the world to work at Hubud for, was much bigger than what I had imagined. It was in fact that most fertile place in the entire world for me to bring my true self into the world, to bring my true self’s calling. To step into my JoyGasmic leadership, and my true vocation as healer (why do you think I resonated with them so much as clients? Hmmm?) and take the knowledge, experience, and yes, technical skills, I had learned for the last 4 years of marketing holistic types, and launch my own project, finally and beautifully in to the world.

So thank you Hubud. It’s been an unexpected and beautiful journey, I now love many of you as friends. I’m so appreciative for the moments we’ve shared. I look forward to Invasion X+1 and I’ll be back to give you kisses, hugs, and JoyGasm’s soon. Because beyond a place to work, a place to connect with people who I now love you’ve helped me see who I really am, you killed my design business, and in the process helped me find my passion for life again.

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Elena Harder. Courage Catalyst, LifeStyle Artist and Joy Hacker. Elena created JoyGasm to heal her experience of postpartum depression, self sabotage, overworking, people pleasing, and an abusive alcoholic relationship. Since then she’s helped hundreds of others meet their JoyGasmic Self to heal broken hearts, remove negative self talk, eliminate stress, fear and depression, and bring immense joy into daily life. Her current personal records for longest standing greeting hug is 22 minutes, longest continuous solo laugh 26 minutes, and longest collaborative laugh at 1 hour 45 minutes!