Taking Business Personally
I had a client who came in today to talk about business, which quickly turned into a whole other conversation. You see, our personal lives are very intertwined with the success rate we reach in our businesses. Said client came into my office and was on the verge of tears - her "to-do" list was a mile long and she'd made a yard of progress. Then she hadn't done anything because she was OVERWHELMED and frustrated at what she hadn't accomplished and about ALL the things she's discovering she doesn't know, combined with the weight of pressure she was facing when it came to business and serving clients, and feeling that I would be disappointed in her for not completing what steps we had agreed on in our previous session, and, and, and...
WHOA, STOP (hammertime. Sorry, couldn't resist).
She got out a blank piece of paper, and at the top of it wrote, "Celebrations". I asked her what she was most proud of herself for accomplishing in the last four months of our time together. As she began writing, I watched a look of relief and excitement come across her face as she realized the BIG steps she's taken in the last while - including her first paying clients, swallowing pride, and, seeking out mentorship, surrounding herself with an amazing network of support. I watched as she started breathing again; before, she was taking shorter, more shallow breaths and her shoulders were constricted.
She told me about how she had learned so much about herself, but also had so much more to learn. We talked about the journey - which involved both business and life - and the stories we tell ourselves that hold us back. There were a few tears. I shared my own experiences. I talked about Brene Brown (she's amazing). At the end, she left my office and had a whole new perspective. Action items? Eliminate a whole ton on the "I think I should do" list, and really focus on what matters. We set personal and business priorities, and I watched a completely different person walk out of my door.
We're all human. Sometimes a person just needs someone who believes in them, to make them breathe for a moment and to get them to ask themselves better questions. We all need that. With realness comes vulnerability. One of the best quotes I've ever heard goes something along the lines of this: "You want to take part in the best personal development seminar on the planet? Start your own business." Sometimes the best way to develop our business (or whatever your 'thing' is) is to pause and look inward.
And - ask yourself better questions. "What do I value?", "Who is placing this pressure on me?" (hint: often it's ourselves), "Instead of beating myself up for what I haven't done, how can I give myself a pat on the back for what I've accomplished?", "Who can I give this task to?"
To keeping it real,