Earlier this year I had one of the biggest ha-ha moments of my entrepreneurial life. I was taking a walk to digest some tough decisions I had to make and suddenly it hit me like an unexpected thunder. I clearly heard a firm voice saying “I am not my business”. You might think, of course you are not.
It wasn't that clear to me and the relief I felt as soon as that thought crossed my mind was immense. Immediately tons of weight fell away. I returned from my walk lighter and calmer.
It’s too easy to associate personal worth with the amount of clients, sales, public engagements. Especially when the business you created stems from a deep (and personal) desire to transform something for a greater good. The absence of boundaries between me and the business I had created had generated high stress…there was no way to “win” from that place.
I realised during that walk that I was there to serve my business, do the best I could to let my business evolve but I wasn't my business. It is still a lot of work, but I am no longer doing that to my business; I am working to a greater goal with my business.
It is easier and far less stressful to work with someone or something towards a common challenge. That little word with allowed me to see additional success parameters rather than only business growth; like: relationship development; learning and impact. Success became no longer the result of transactions.
That ‘aha’ moment represented stepping back from the expectations, titles and sales, and refocusing on creating impact. This meant prioritising over chasing down. My workload did not go down, but now it is delivering what I want it to deliver. Creative time found place on my schedule again; I resumed intentional writing and developing content that served the work I love doing. I focused on meeting and creating relationship that had creative impact. Knowing that my best work is creating impact, those dreadful (for me) administrative tasks assumed a new perspective in service of the creative impact, not vice versa. I work just as hard now, but there is more fulfilment, and less stress because I re-dedicated myself, my energy, my thoughts to the service of creating impact (what I really care about).
I made a choice to dedicate myself to something bigger than only my own gain. When we frame everything we do in terms of service, then, no matter whether we hit our transactional goals or not, we know we are “worth” in the bigger life purpose sense of contributing to the world and to others. It is my personal experience that, those chased business profits don't need to be chased anymore, they become the natural outcome of something worth doing.