If You're Not Here, Where Are You?
"Why isn't this working?", said a client, whom I will call Kendall for the sake of this article. "I should have more customers by now. When [insert name of a leader in her field] started, it wasn't this slow."
Kendall had been working on building a new business online when we started working together. She had lots of business experience, having had a service business before for many years. And she was successful at it.
So her frustration was understandable. In a way.
The truth is, every business is different. You are different, each time you start on a new venture.
Even if you haven't had a previous business, chances are you've had a job where you've been successful. Are you comparing yourself and your business to that past experience?
The problem with comparisons is that nobody wins. That past you is no longer, and the present you sure doesn't need to feel diminished. You are bringing all you are to this present business, and that's something worth celebrating!
So how can you approach your present business in a way that values what you've done, acknowledges what you bring, and allows you to be fully present, and happy, in where you are right now?
Here are 5 things to bring to that process:
1. Stop 'should-ing' on yourself
. I believe that language is incredibly important. It affects how you feel and how you think. So I choose my words. 'Should' is a word I avoid, even in my daily language. It's not an empowered word. It implies that something outside of you may dictate what you do. The truth? You always have a choice. That includes choice about what you believe and think. There is no 'should' for you and your business. There is only what is, and what you choose from that place.
2. Don't compare yourself with anyone else
. Stop comparing yourself to the leaders in your field. They have years on you. They may share some of what it took to have the business they have now, but you can't know everything. They have their own backgrounds and experiences. You may not always feel resonant with their business practices, or aligned with your authentic you if you were to conduct your business in the same way. Part of being authentic is recognizing the unique you that you bring. That invites no comparisons.
3. Maintain the beginner mind
. My take on this Buddhist principle is that the beginner's mind is always open, always ready to expand. With the beginner mind, you are always learning, always growing. Every business, you begin again. Heck, every day you begin again! When you start to feel like an expert, doors close, and your options become limited. By maintaining this beginner mind, you have many possibilities, many options. And that's a good thing.
4. Remember the past with open eyes
. You probably aren't remembering everything you went through to create your previous success. You're probably thinking in terms of who you were and what you were experiencing after all you did and felt and learned. And comparing it to where you are now. Fair? Nuh-uh. Useful? Double nuh-uh. Dig deep in your memory and you'll likely pull out some experiences you can apply to the same early stage today.
5. Be careful of comparisons to the past you
. Every business is different. Comparing yourself to who you were after years of success in another venture just makes for tough going. In any new business, there's a learning curve. Society, and especially the internet, changes constantly. When you honor and respect that you are here now, you respond most powerfully from who you are right now and what is happening in the present.
Happily, Kendall is very much taking this to heart in her new business. She's feeling much more at peace with its unfolding. When she started being where she was, she did things differently and business began to pick up.
You can only be where you are. When you embrace that, then you have a solid launching pad for moving forward. As long as you're in the past, you're on shaky ground and the success you could have will elude you.
Be where you are, right now, in your business. Where else can you be?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