“Authentic growth comes from what we don’t know” ~ The Presence Process
The question is – are we willing to go there?
When I was on retreat back in August we did a ritual where we released something that was no longer serving us.
I choose to release “needing to figure it all out”. I wanted to be purposeful to tap more into my intuition and spiritual guidance.
Well beware what you wish for right? Letting go of the need to figure things out is a doozy!
Especially when I’m really good at it. Especially when I’ve made a living from it. Especially for a control freak like me who likes to lay it all out and make it happen. Who likes to feel like she’s got it all figured out (under control) <—- perhaps you can relate?
So I come home after my retreat and find myself in a place of clearing. I felt very clearly that I was being called to create space. Plans I has already made were cancelled. Programs I was ready to promote were put on the shelf.
And I found myself in a place of not knowing. The pause between what was and what is coming.
But I couldn’t see what was coming next! What was coming down the pipeline? And that has been the challenging/fascinating part.
It’s like those old cartoons where I have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other.
The angel is saying “Be still Tina. All is well. You are supported and the answers will come at the right time.”
Then the devil on the other shoulder is saying “But we aren’t DOING anything right now! We need to be doing stuff. Making things happen. It’s irresponsible to just sit here and wait! Have you lost your mind?” (Yes, as a matter of fact I have)
It’s the struggle of faith and ego. Spirit and mind.
And yet, because I had chosen to let go of the need to figure it out… I let myself stay in that space of mystery. Of not knowing. Yet trusting.
As I stay in this space things have started showing up.
I’ve started sharing more of my spiritual side – coming out of the ‘woo’ closet as I like to say. It’s always been there and I’ve hidden it for years.
I did a webinar last week to talk about and explore the Intersection of Spirit and Business together.
And there is still so much I don’t yet know. I still don’t have it figured out… and yet, I’m OK with it now. When I have my EEEK! moments they don’t last as long. I’m able to come back to ‘not knowing’ and trusting it will all be well.
It’s also a lot more fun to live in the mystery of it all. Like reading a really great book and not knowing what’s on the next page!
And so I marinate in not knowing. Curious to see what comes up next and trusting the process.
“I never thought it would be this hard – when do I get to the good part?”
I daresay it’s true that for most of us – this business journey is often harder than we expected it to be! But that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way…
Here are 5 ways you can make the ‘hard’ feel a bit easier.
Accept That It’s Supposed To Be Hard – this might sound funny to say, but it’s quite often our RESISTANCE to the fact that it’s hard which makes it harder. When you are on a journey of creating what matters you will be challenged – you will be stretched. You will have do things that you don’t want to do – that you wish you could skip over. Like learning to sell, setting up the right business structure or having to deal with a challenging team member. This is simply part of the gig – success is meant to be hard at times, but that doesn’t mean it has to be HARD. <– that is a choice.
Learn How To Say NO – some of the hardest times in my business journey have been when I said yes to something for the wrong reasons. When I said yes to a client or new project because they wanted me to do it for them and I didn’t want to let them down. When I committed myself to something in an already jam packed schedule and overextended myself. I said yes, regretted it and had to drag myself through it. Anytime we say yes when we really want to say no we are making things harder.
Ask For Help – speaking as a recovering control freak believe me I get it. The pull to DIY and take care of things myself is strong… it’s how I’m wired! Just because you can do it – and I know that you can – doesn’t mean you have to. I guarantee that there is something on your plate right now that you don’t have to be doing. Something that is hard simply because you don’t want to do it anymore or you don’t know how to do it but think you should. Let these things go so that you can do more of the stuff you enjoy.
Quit Wearing Busy As A Badge Of Honor – ask anyone how they are doing these days and you will generally hear them say “I’m so busy!” Busy is easily mistaken as a sign of success when quite often it’s simply a façade. A place to hide out when we are feeling afraid, uncertain or in abject terror around our business. The most successful people I know are NOT the busiest people I know.
“How often do we try to solve problems by doing more of what’s not working – doing it harder, grinding it out longer. We’ll do anything to avoid the lowest of the low – self examination” ~ Brene Brown, Rising Strong
Stop Working Weekends – I don’t care how much you love your work, if you never allow yourself to unplug from your business it will start to suck the life out of you. We all need time to rest & recharge, not only physically but mentally as well. Time for our brains to stop thinking about this project, that client, that idea, etc. Giving yourself at least one day a week – ideally two – can have a huge impact on the amount of energy and enthusiasm you are able to bring to your work. If you need some tips on how to make this happen, click here to check out how I set my schedule.
So let me ask you, what can you do this week to make things easier?
How do you take your expertise, your services and the skills you provide and offer them in bigger and better ways? How can you continue to serve your clients and make more money without necessarily taking up more of YOUR time and energy?
To get the juices flowing in the right direction, I want to start with a simple exercise here. (Although, truth be told, sometimes the seemingly simplest exercises can prove to be the hardest ones for some of us.)
I want you to take a mental look at your business and I want you to kill off one of your revenue streams.
Yes, you read that right, I want you to kill off, pull the plug and discontinue at least 1 of the things you’re currently offering right now.
Now before you hyperventilate, quit reading the remainder of the blog and go into panic mode at the thought of tampering with your revenue, let me explain why I want you to do this.
In order to grow and expand, sometimes we have to sever some things that aren’t thriving as well as others.
Consider a gardener – in order for a rose bush to bloom and flourish, the dead and weaker branches must be pruned and removed. If this doesn’t happen, the weak branches choke the life out of the healthy ones.
The same goes for your business. You need to prune off the services, programs, etc. that no longer serve you and no longer serve your clients.
You’re likely familiar with the 80/20 Rule that says that 80% of your results are determined by 20% of your efforts. Or maybe 80% of your income is determined by 20% of your clients…and the principle can appear over and over in various business scenarios. I want you to write out a very specific list of all the services you offer within your business right now and how much money they have brought in over the past 12 months. We’re working on creating your own 80/20 list
Now brace yourself for a surprise or two when you really look at what’s generating what. Sometimes the things you thought were your big money makers may not be and vice versa. I know I’ve personally had a good enlightenment or two when I’ve made this list in my own business. With everything all written out, I want you to focus in on the 1-3 things at the bottom of your money-making list.
Nitty gritty decision time. You need to take an earnest look at those bottom revenue items and decide if it’s really worth the time, effort and energy to continue offering them in the next year. Now you may have the scenario where one of your bottom items is a new launch and there hasn’t really been time to get it off the ground, but you know in the next year it will be operating at maximum potential and the numbers will be there the next time you make this list. So leave that one alone for now. But on the whole, those low revenue items are going to warrant an “Eh…not really cutting it” response.
It’s time to let go of the money-losing, and often headache-inducing revenue streams and make the space and energy you’re going to want for the new stuff on your business’ horizon.
(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)