Some of you may know that I am a business consultant in addition to this work. I am very blessed to have a great contract to do development work for a start-up tech device company. This means that I go to some rather conservative business functions. Not the kind that you usually bust out the “I let my intuition guide my decisions and allow the law of attraction to work for our highest good” type.
I find as I move further along on this path of my spiritual and personal growth, going to these functions and being faced with so many people that have such a constrictive and negative outlook on life, and especially in business, is frustrating and some times exhausting. So last night, I listened to people say about how you can’t get ahead unless you are willing to forego weekends, vacations, being sick, family time, and a personal life. I listened to people say how they know they can’t make it because they don’t have an MBA yet, and their website isn’t perfect in their perfect branding image, and they haven’t designed a logo yet. (which I haven’t either so if someone wants to barter?!…never mind, later…) I heard a young woman being discouraged and told she better get all her ducks in a row and her big girl pants on because she was living in a pipe dream if she thought she could make her ideas come to fruition.
Somehow among all that, I mostly bit my tongue. I tried to contain my disagreement except but for offering a short statement of, “I understand that different methodologies work for different people.” But alas, I couldn’t take it. I had a brief opening with the young woman and I said to her, “you can do this if you want to do this!” And then I went into a bit of a…uh, shall we say…sharing of beliefs and ideas (sounds better than a woo-woo rant right?!). I proceeded to say to her, if you let getting more and more education, more training, more experiences hold you back you will never do this. If you let your own inner desires and dreams and ideas to be stifled, controlled, and dictated by others, you will never do this. If you wait until you can afford launching a beautiful glossy website, and a full-on branding campaign, and can hire a staff to fill every role, you will never do this. She was rather stunned.
I shared with her that even though I was still “young” in age compared to many other business owners and business consultants, I had learned a lot. And that I too had felt that I didn’t know enough, or have enough experience or money or image for a long time, in all different careers, but all it really did was hold me back because I was just fine. I let this culture of shoulds & should nots and boxes and “rules of business” intimidate me and hold me back. And by this point, I had gained a little bit of a crowd and a whole lot of momentum.
I emphatically said to her yes, there are some strong principals that should not be ignored in business, but ideally they should not be ignored in life either. Leave your ego out of it. Wanting to be perfect and successful right away, or not allowing others with experience and resources to share in the building because you want to maintain all the control, will bite you in the ass. You must walk before you can run. No, you can not start pulling a six figure income right away. You must not get too big too fast, or it will result in a crash and burn. You must be real. This means go with you gut. Believe in your beliefs and don’t let go. Always know why you are doing what you are doing and let that come through.
And I left her with a piece of advice that really had some of the on-lookers ready to shove me out into the parking lot. I told her that it does not have to be a struggle. It doesn’t have to be such a sacrifice to every aspect of your life and your resources that you lose it all except this “successful” business. That you can choose to have the experience of building this business feel like it is being divinely guided, or meant to be. To remember, and know, and believe that many of the most successful entrepreneurs were not highly educated, and they did get lucky breaks, and they didn’t always listen to the rule books and advisers but listened to their gut. And that many of them would say, “I worked, but it wasn’t that hard.”
As I excused myself to leave, I offered the girl my card and told her I’d be happy to offer her friendly advice and encouragement anytime she liked. I shared that I wished I had known years ago that I didn’t have to struggle, and sacrifice, and be more than I am to have the kind of life I want.
But I’m living many of my dreams now, so I guess I did alright. And besides now I have the knowledge, and the proof, to share it with others.