You know how sometimes you get the feeling that a light bulb in your head just lit up and something made sense? I had those moments constantly at ACLC last weekend and thought I’d share just a few of them.
I’ve been doing what I do for more than 10 years now. I love what I do and I love my clients. But my business has been more in day to day survival mode than big picture growth mode. This was the first time I ever took time away to really focus on my own business. What a perspective shift!
#1 My business is my playground and I get to choose who plays in the sandbox.
I’ve always allowed myself to feel guilty when saying “No” or enforcing any policies or contracts. I realized that not only am I allowed to have rules and require people to play by them in my business, but that if I really want to have a successful business and help more people it’s necessary. By not sticking to the rules and choosing who I’m willing to work with and how, I’m not helping those I bend my rules for, and worse yet, I’m keeping myself from being able to help more of the people who I can help.
#2 I don’t have to give away my time to the people I want to help in order to help them.
This one might make more sense in my head than anywhere else but let’s see if I can explain that. There are certain groups who I have a very soft heart towards. And so much of me wants to help them and spend all my time doing that. But I realized throughout the weekend that I can help more effectively in ways other than what I’m doing right now. By reaching a higher level of success in my business, I’ll have the resources and freedom to be able to help. And that can be one of the motivations I build on to grow in my business.
#3 It’s okay to screw up.
It’s really a freeing thought to be told that not only are you allowed to screw up and fail, but that you’re going to, so you might as well go ahead and do it now and get through it. Then just keep going.
The perfectionist in me tends to keep me from releasing things (you don’t want to know how many “draft” blog posts I have waiting for just “one more” proofreading). But the idea of not chasing perfection and striving for excellence instead is a really great mindset.
#4 My business can only grow as fast as I grow personally.
Sent my roommate a tweet at one point during the bootcamp that I guessed I was going to have to act like an adult and face some things/people/fears/ghosts/whatever you want to call all those things that come up inside you and tell you to hide. Have you ever been there?
Those who have known me online for years know that my family has gone through some unique circumstances. I don’t share it all online, maybe one day I will, but it slowly turned me from an outgoing, confident person into a very shy and reclusive person. Fifteen years ago I was actively involved in competitions at local, regional and state levels in public speaking, debate, and drama. Loved every minute of it. I loved being on a stage in front of people and seeing them laugh (not kidding–when your role in a play is to be a teacher who is sincerely in love with Curly from the Three Stooges and you’re quoting his poetry about a fly on a wall, well… people can’t help but laugh at that one). I gave a solo piano recital with works from Chopin, Rimsky-Korsakov and other inspired composers. I tutored, I taught piano lessons, and I was confident in who I was and what I knew that I could teach others. Somewhere along the path of the last 15 years, I lost that person.
And I realized last weekend that I’m tired of being stuck where I’m at. It’s time for me to stop caring what life has thrown at me, or what other people are going to look at me and think, and get over it already. If I want my business to grow, I am going to have to do the personal work required to face myself and grow. I’m fantastic at what I do and it’s not wrong to say that out loud.
I took a huge step last weekend and walked up to the microphone to share the things I’d implemented during ACLC. There were only 120 or so people there. 15 years ago it wouldn’t have phased me at all (I’d been in front of crowds 5 times that to give speeches and as part of plays). But this time I was shaking like a leaf and could barely think. To be honest, I don’t even remember what I said (I fear it’s saved on video somewhere though). All I know is that somehow I got up there and did it. And I know that one step at a time that’s what I have to do. Just keep moving forward and not looking back. I’ll screw up plenty I’m sure. But I’m going to take a deep breath, and go for it anyway. So, here’s the journey of rediscovering myself!
And with that, I’m going to hit post before I lose my nerve. If you’ve been where I am, are where I’m at, or are almost there, I’d love it if you’d hit the comment box below and share. Or if you’re just a fan of the Three Stooges and know which episode and poem I referred to above, you can comment, too. :)