How Are You Spending Your Precious Energy?
He kept low, barely visible, seeming to almost slide forward. His feet seemed to be the only things he was actively moving. The rest of his body was in complete concert, following along.
When an opportunity arose to move forward undetected, he did. When his quarry, a small herd of impala, got nervous, he sunk down into the grass and lay still, waiting, surprisingly relaxed.
That was the progress of the leopard we were observing from our Land Rover on my recent trip to South Africa. What struck me so much about watching this beautiful being seeking his lunch is the brilliant use of energy.
No energy expended except in service to the goal. Waiting until the right moment to move, and otherwise resting. Energy going out when warranted. Energy pulled in and resting when not.
That is how the leopard survives in his wild environment. He simply cannot afford to waste his energy.
I was so struck by this use of energy. It seemed the opposite of what many of us do, and what I have done myself. Culturally, we seem required to move at a frenetic pace all the time, whether or not that movement serves any purpose.
The thing is, it's just not sustainable. For those of you who have had burnout experiences, you know exactly what I mean.
That experience with the leopard showed me a beautiful metaphor for each of us as entrepreneurs.
Energy itself is what you are putting out into the world, in the form of your offerings and effort. Energy is also what you are receiving, in the form of money and connection.
To have impact and results with your work, your energy must be used wisely. Choices must be made about where your energy goes, how much is expended, and when.
Think about every aspect of your work, and make conscious choices about energy expended. Whether it's developing new offerings, marketing, or interacting with your staff, it's valuable to choose where your energy goes. Even clients get managed energy: focus where you need to in order to deliver a great result, and then rest.
This is where planning your day and your week can really come into play in service to what you want to achieve. Rather than thinking about your time in terms of to-do's, consider how you want to expend your energy. Where will it have the most impact? What time of day would give the best outcome? Who do you want to bring on board to help you, so that your own energy is not expended?
It's not only about your planning. Things come up that you don't expect. Having clarity about where you want to expend your energy will help you stay on track when surprises pop up.
An aspect of managing your energy is down time. When you don't need to be spending energy, then allow yourself to relax. Running on adrenaline all the time, as many entrepreneurs do, will only drain you. Cultivating the ability to have a rhythm with your energy, high when you need it to accomplish something critically important, pulled in when rest is possible, will help you to maintain your effort over the long haul.
Your energy is too precious to expend except in service to where you want to go in your business. To have the greatest result in the shortest time, make strategic choices about where your energy goes.
Ursula Jorch, MSc, MEd, mentors entrepreneurs starting their businesses and seasoned entrepreneurs in transition to create the business of their dreams. Her coaching programs provide knowledge, support, clarity, inspiration, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs to empower you to reach your goals. Start with a free guide and other valuable info at www.WorkAlchemy.com