(Read Part 1: A River Without Banks is a (Big) Puddle)
- Your Craft, and
- Business Skills
But forget smart business strategy, or even how incredibly awesome you are at what you do.
The thing most people don't realize when they start their own business is that the whole thing is a MAJOR personal and spiritual growth process.
As we navigate through or remove our personal blocks, our professional successes inevitably increase.
When we ignore the areas where we need to grow, we tend to get stuck in our businesses (and our lives).
Inner Work is like the groundwater that flows under the surface supporting the life above it.
Here are three qualities I think are worth cultivating as you work on your business:
- Courage (aka, doing it before you’re ready)
- Self-compassion (for the inevitable times of “failure”)
- Trust (there will be ups and downs, can you hang?)
When your work is driven by passion and purpose, it can feel scary to put it out into the world, for fear of failing at what is most important to us.
The little voices tell us:
- You’ll screw it up.
- You’re not good enough.
- You’re not quiiiite ready, (maybe next month).
- Or that you couldn’t possibly make enough money doing this, what in the world were you thinking?!
Anything to stop us from going out there and doing it.
So how do we get out there and do it anyways?
I hate to be so simplistic, but you just do it anyways.
We all have the voices. And they tend to stick around, even after we’ve had many obvious successes.
The practice is to:
- Start recognizing the voices (otherwise known as limiting beliefs),
- Acknowledge your fears,
- Return to your vision (creating a business you love that makes money!),
- And then go for it despite your fears.
Don’t sit around waiting for confidence to show up.
Building and growing a business is a long and winding road. It can be hard work, both internally and externally, and is often trial and error, even if you have the best training or coach in the world. There is a lot to know, and you can’t possibly know it all.
The fact is; you’re going to mess up. I certainly have. (Of course I tend to view failing as growing, see Trust, below). A lot of the time, you’re going to wish you were further along than you are. And things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.
You’ll mess up in little ways, and you’ll mess up in big ways. You’ll have great months financially, and you’ll have crappy months. You’ll do amazing work with clients, and you’ll have mediocre sessions too.
This is inevitable.
The question is, can you be kind and compassionate to yourself when this happens? Can you remind yourself that this business-building thing is edgy and courageous and sometimes hard and to just give yourself a break? Can you keep those voices in check by kindly letting them know that you’re doing your best?
Can you cultivate the kind of compassion you have for others for yourself?
Finally, and most importantly, because it supports everything else, we must cultivate our ability to trust:
As mentioned above, things don’t always go the way we want them to. In addition to cultivating self-compassion, can we also view those challenges and failures as the perfect gifts for our continued growth and evolution? And that we are learning these lessons in this moment for a very good reason? This is trust.
The ups and downs of business building could drive a person crazy. Our biggest anxieties and fears come out to play when it’s been a while since a new client came in… self-doubt creeps in, and we want to quit this whole stupid business thing and just go back and get another job-job.
Here’s where we call on Trust.
Of course cultivating trust is no simple task. In fact, it’s a pretty major area of training for most spiritual paths. So I hesitate to be so glib as to tell you to use a simple affirmation, because it will take more than this.
But here it is, because it’s a good place to start:
My perfect clients are already on their way, I am creating a business I love where money flows in from many channels, and I am supported.
Create your own version, write it on a piece of paper by your computer (mine are pretty and decorated with sparkles), or say it when you go to sleep.
You get to design and live in a world where you are supported and things are going your way. Watch for the voices that tell you it’s not possible. Let them know it is… over and over if you have to.
If you are sincere, which I believe you are, and you are following your heart, taking strategic action, and investing in yourself and your business, you are doing all the right things. Just do your work, be patient and trust.
Food for Thought
Every successful business owner must find a balance between these three aspects of running a business… Craft, Business Skills, and Inner Work… none can be ignored.
Which area do you need to put a little more focus on?
Do you need to get more strategic about building your business?
Work with your mindset or limiting beliefs?
Or is it time to take your craft to the next level through training or mentorship?
What other qualities would you like to cultivate personally so that you can have more professional success?