Do you know what’s not fun? Looking at your inner workings or your circumstances and just accepting them for what they are. People tend to glorify the reason behind their behavior or ignore the things in life that they don’t want to face. The trouble with that is it quickly turns into justification or negligence and you never quite get to the core of what you need to do to make a positive difference in your life and business. You have situations and behaviors in your life that aren’t serving you, yet you’ve found a way to convince yourself it’s necessary. That it is the only way that it can possibly be. It’s shockingly easy to believe that you perpetuate an action for a noble reason instead of the less exciting option. Below is a list of the top things I want you to analyze honestly and then accept:
The holes in your process.
Everyone has an area of their business that could be working better. For some it’s streamlining a system so that it takes less time. For others it’s a piece of the job that just keeps falling short. Maybe for you it’s something else. But, be honest about it and ask yourself why it’s happening and what is the easiest solution you can make. Don’t overcomplicate it. Just be honest with yourself about it.
Your deepest desires
So often I sit down with people to talk about the vision that they have for their business and they give me the watered down version of their dreams. It’s not uncommon to be afraid of your deepest desires. I get it. They’re usually big and vast and well, a little too honest. If we’re upfront about our deepest desires that opens us up for a world of potential failures and wounds. But, do you know what not being honest and open about your deepest desires will do? It will guarantee that you will never achieve them. You have to acknowledge what you want and why you want it to get there. It’s a non-negotiable, it’s the bare minimum requirement. Hell, if you did nothing else toward that goal but say what you want and why you want it then you are closer to it then if you accomplish a million other things and never say it outloud.
Your Strengths & weaknesses
I know that you’re used to the job interview model of addressing your strengths and your weaknesses. We’re supposed to amplify our strengths and sugar coat our weaknesses, right? The trouble with that is that it prohibits your ability to improve and even worse, you are likely to find yourself in a position that doesn’t suit your skill set. There’s absolutely no reason that you should be good at everything. It’s a ridiculous concept if you think about it. Rather, I would encourage you to be honest with your strengths and use that information to play into them. Pull in more work and tasks that amplify those strengths. Then, be honest with your weaknesses and use that information to work around them or learn how to mitigate them. For example: If my strength is writing a bunch of content but my weakness is paying attention to detail then I may want to blog more as a promotion piece for my business but, I’ll probably need a proofreader. If you are amazing at meeting with people face to face but really terrible at phone etiquette then maybe you want to do sales calls via Skype instead of just the phone.
Here’s the deal, you are exactly who you are. You are going to be that person for the rest of your life. It is never too soon to accept that. Sure you will make tweaks in your mindset here and there. But, there are pieces that aren’t going anywhere. If you hate sitting behind a computer, take a moment and accept that. See what adjustments in your work life can be made to accommodate. If meetings drain you, if you have to create to feel content, if working alone feels draining, etc. Be honest with yourself and then see what you can do to make your work suit your personality a little bit more gracefully.
Creating a successful business as a student who is about to graduate college has completely different puzzle pieces than a single parent who has a full-time job. Both possess their limitations and neither is better than the other. Accepting your own special brand of limitations will speed up the process of being able to create something that works with them. What I see more often than not are people resenting and resisting their limitations. They often say phrases like, “well, I would love to do that but, I have children or I’m in school or the finances aren’t there.” What I want you to do instead is say, “I’m in school so that means I will have to fit that into my schedule. That may mean I can do it, but, it will take me a little longer than someone else.” Do you see what we did there? Work with your limitations, but, don’t let them hold you back.
Your ‘why.’Here's an example to get you started:
No matter what you are doing, I want you to truly understand the core of why you are doing it and be as honest with yourself as physically possible. I often ask people why upon why upon why until we get to the core of it. As we discussed in lesson one, once you truly understand your reasoning then you can know how to move forward in a new direction.
I’m not just trying to make you face all of the truth of your life to make you sad. I swear. What I want you to do is take this information and treat it like a puzzle. Each of these areas affect one another. I’m not even asking you to change yourself right now. In fact, I urge you not to. What I’d rather you do is accept what you’re working with and put it together in a way that works just a bit better. I want you to get creative. Don’t try to solve the puzzle in the same ways that your guilt-ridden mind already knows. Think outside of the box and then find your most innovative, open-minded and free-spirited friend to bounce those ideas off of and work through the hesitations. ( If you know any Aquarians, I’d try them first. ;) )
The Why: I want to connect people to themselves.
The Limitations: I find it really difficult to be creative after lunch and I need a ton of unscheduled down time to feel satisfied with my creative work.
The Personality: I don’t like doing work when I feel like I have to prove that I’m trustworthy. Convincing people to hire me and allow me to do a good job doesn’t work well with my personality. I also need a lot of time alone and a lot of time traveling.
Strengths & Weaknesses: I’m amazing at creating content but not so good at proofreading my own work or planning content ahead of time. I’m great in person but terrible over the phone.
Holes in the Process: My client management systems could be better. I haven’t done this because it will take a lot of time upfront and I’m not entirely sure what I need. My marketing plan could be more streamlined and scheduled out. I haven’t done this because it feels overwhelming to think about all at once. But, it would be helpful to dedicate time to it.
With all of that information in mind, I know that the person above would do well with people 1:1, they should probably take video calls instead of phone calls. They’ll need to have an income stream outside of their 1:1’s because they need space in their schedule and a lot of alone time. They need to communicate their expertise clearly in their marketing so that their clients trust them before they ever hire them. They should find a way to do work that either allows them to travel or take several vacations. They will need a few dedicated days to planning for their systems because that seems to be the theme of why those systems aren’t in place.
I know it seems complicated, but, it's actually quite simple. Often we don't acknowledge our realities so we are never given the opportunity to move through them and work toward something better. Creating a work life that feels good to you can be as simple as understanding and accepting yourself and making small adjustments.
- Reality worksheet:
Use the worksheet found in the link below to get really honest with yourself and then to see what adjustments can be made in your work life.
- Write a Vision:
I want you to dream big. But, just for the next 6-months. If you were to open your eyes 6-months from now and everything in your life was exactly how you would hope it would be, what would be there? What would your day look like? What would happen in that week? What big life changes will have occurred? Write it out like a journal entry dated for the future. The key is to dream big but keep it realistic. What do you believe you could actually achieve if you put your mind to it?
Set the tone for where you want to be in 6-months.