Isn’t your definition of success a very personal choice? There are lovely speeches about what success is, one particular one, from a navy commander starts with encouraging each of us to make our bed. You see, by willfully beginning something with a completion in the morning, we’re told you set the stage for success. I agree. Sometimes the only way forward is to shatter your vision of what you’re seeing and reconstruct the pieces into a new picture.
The mind is a funny thing. It can create stories that we tell ourselves and they may have nothing to do with what the spreadsheet says about success. Our minds may also throw up information that has nothing to do with our lack of success. Success is about actions that matter. However I also believe that most of the success that matters is only affirmed by the presence of outcomes on a spreadsheet, but I believe most of the work that matters doesn’t show up in numbers.
Money success in business is but one part of what makes business work. It begins with clarity of focus:
- What do I do for whom doing what, with the intention of the outcome being what?
The business clients I work with in sales strategy or online development strategy often cannot answer the above question. I encourage clients to explore the words and take time to write 8 to 10 responses to it until they find what they truly seek to do in 3 areas. I find most creatives and well able business folks have three core offerings when they are focused on success. Too often we do too much, I know I have to consistently realign my core offerings and/or branch off another business for when I spread my team and myself too thin, we begin to make perhaps income, but we do not make much life.
Is your business broken when it comes to supporting your life? Are you doing too much for too many? Are you worrying too often for too many areas of life? Is clarity lacking in your understanding of what your business is?
I know this place. Last year I had my best income year professionally, and my near the worst year personally in the business. Family life flourished as we learned new skills, but oh the cost of the learning. Successful was not the word I would use for what that felt like. While it was true that we had a wonderful stretching of what we can do as a business, we also had an even better experience of learning what we no longer wanted to do in business.
Maybe your business is broken because you’re doing too much?
Maybe your business is broken because you do not know what to do.
Maybe your business is broken because you are not doing a business that is in alignment with your desires and gifts.
Maybe your business is broken because your heart and mind survived, but hasn’t thrived past a story you are telling yourself.
Sometimes we simply need to look through the lens of someone else’s eyes, or ears, to hear what is broken with our choices. It all comes down to choices in the end, will you choose to continue to do what you’ve already done, or will you continue to ignore what you’re doing? So often we are telling ourselves that the schedule, the actions, the intention is engaged, but are they? My Grandfather Geddie said the richest men were those who knew what they did, what they didn’t do, and how to live in harmony with their values, their neighbors and their wives. I agree. My own version is this:
Choosing is a choice. Am I choosing to be the person I desire to be? Am I enacting a life plan for today that brings peace to my heart, unity with my desired outcomes and harmony with my family and intended life goals? Am I taking time to be gain learning, perspective, and reflective distance to navigate my life? Will I rest this night because I lived a well-lived life based in the values I have chosen to enact in my life? Will my life actions reflect good stewardship of the gift of existing?
Perhaps if you perceive your business is broken, it’s time to stop what you’re doing for just a day or 3. To write down, talk through, and remember why you are choosing what you are choosing. Perhaps it’s time to realign where you are putting your emphasis, engagement, and energy. I find that when I do this, my broken parts of my business are very evident and actions that matter can be taken. Are you ready to own your life and make it your own? It begins with asking the question.