5 Inconvenient Truths of Growing a Business Doing What You Love
Growing a business doing what you love requires facing some hard truths and inconveniences, which we’ll definitely get into! What are you doing to create purposeful work and a life that brings you happiness? Or perhaps I should ask, what are you avoiding?
It may feel like you have to choose between doing what you love or making money. That’s simply not the case.
This reminds me of what Martha Beck calls the “Divine Discomfort.” She says, “Creation requires a stretching of the mind that can be so uncomfortable many people spend their whole lives avoiding it.”
By “creation” she’s not referring to the arts. She’s talking about creating your life.
For you, this may involve creating a livelihood that feels on-purpose and brings you freedom. Not only financial freedom, but freedom from doing the things you always thought you SHOULD do – those things you’ve been programmed to do.
You can CREATE – bring forth, manifest – what you most desire.
However, to do so, it’ll help to first understand what could be stripping away your power.
So let’s look at the five inconvenient truths of creating and growing a business doing what you love, inspired by Martha Beck's "uncomfortable truths".
#1- You are the reason you are where you are.
I know. Ouch! The truth is, this is SOLELY up to you.
You have the power right now to CREATE the business and life you want. You have the power to step it up, show up, to take the actions that will take you from point A to point B.
It’s essential to be aware that this is up to you.
Everything you do right now, is creating your future. You are paving the way from the next moment to the next decade.
It may feel like a vast unknown, but you have all you need at this moment – right in front of you – to create what you want. You simply need to uncover it.
So you might ask, “if this is all up to me, then why am I not doing it? Why do I self-sabotage?”
We have a tendency to make it difficult. One way we might do this is by creating too many options. And you know how that goes, the more options and obstacles you create, the longer it will take you to make a decision and take action.
We do this because we’re hardwired to survive in the wild. That primal instinct stayed with us and kicks in our fight or flight response, so it's simply unnatural for us to say, “Great, let me take a risk (aka, stand in front of the roaring lion) and see what great things could happen as a result.”
#2 – Self-sabotage will stop you from growing a business doing what you love.
As entrepreneurs, we have to do things that tend to go against how we were raised and taught – don’t take risks, never fail, do what you’re told, follow the rules, color within the lines… – invest financially in yourself.
When you do these things, your primal brain is activated and you interpret that thing you have to do as life or death dangerous!
What you might consider to be self-sabotage is usually a protective response to imminent danger. It’s a way to protect yourself from pain, and often stem from limiting beliefs you developed as a child. Unfortunately, when you want to live more free and expand to live a life of purpose, this fear response moves you father from your goals – it can take the driver’s seat, mislead you, and make your goals feel unachievable.
What are some ways we self-sabotage?
- Poor time management
- Distractions – bright shiny objects
- Quitting when we’re SO very close
Fears and limiting beliefs developed in our early lives, are based on how we were raised, trauma, even past lives. And when you allow yourself to be ruled by this, you’re giving up your power.
What are some of your limiting beliefs?
- You’re not good enough to do THAT
- That is not what nice girls do
- Money does not come easily
- Wealthy people are rude and arrogant
- I can’t make more money than my father
- I never get what I want
If you can see that these limiting beliefs are stopping you, that's half the battle.
Then you can decide that NOW is the time to forge a new, less comfortable, but much more rewarding path.
#3 – You’ve been giving up your power
What does it look like to TAKE BACK YOUR POWER and grow a business you love doing?
It means you get in the driver’s seat and first and foremost. And that you can see and accept that this is UP TO YOU. Not up to your family, or your partner, or your best friend, or your 6th grade teacher who didn’t give you the part you wanted in the play.
You are here and now.
It means you stop blaming – whether you’re blaming others or YOURSELF.
And YOU are the one who gets to DECIDE to do that thing you WANT TO DO.
I know a lot of people who feel held back by their partners or family. It makes me sad because they’re holding themselves back because they don’t believe in themselves.
If this resonates for you, is it possible you’re being called to unleash your voice?
But taking back your power also means you stop asking for permission.
When you boldly and courageously step into your power, you become a person who clearly articulates what they want, need and expect. You become a person who admits that you are afraid, but who believes in abundance and in yourself enough to stand up to partners and family and to claim, "THIS IS WHAT I AM GOING TO DO AND I’D LOVE FOR YOU TO BE BY MY SIDE WITH IT".
In order to do that…
Doing this will require laser-focus on what you most want and learning to take intentional and smart, but imperfect action.
#4. You will screw it up.
When you take that imperfect action don’t be surprised when you suddenly realize... this is way harder than you thought!
There’s no magic pill that makes you rich overnight, and it’s not true that you can build a sustainable business in an 8 week course. You can start, but it takes a lot more than that.
You must take action.
As strong as you are and as prepared as you can be in the moment, you must take action. Not WHEN you get another certification or degree, or when the fear finally goes away, or when you think you’ve got all your ducks in a row. And it will take you screwing it up several times in order to get it right some of the time.
That’s what I call stepping into the Cycle of Success and it requires an abundance mindset.
It goes like this: You take the action, even while you're filled with fear, then you look at what you did right, and what you can do better. You exchange ideas and surround yourself with people who are also striving to reach their big dreams and who believe in you.
Then you have the support you need and are able to develop a little more confidence to take the action again. This time you’ll do it a bit better. And you continue this upward spiral, each time, gaining more confidence and doing it better and better.
You’re not supposed to get it right the first time. You’re not born with your Zone of Genius in high functioning mode but that doesn’t mean you’ve got it wrong. The more you practice, the better you get.
#5. You must BE SEEN
What does BEING SEEN mean anyway?
Being SEEN means taking ownership.
It means taking responsibility.
To BE SEEN means you come out of hiding.
It means having your needs met and it’s one the fundamental needs we have as living beings.
Why is BEING SEEN so scary?
If you didn’t have your needs met as a child, or you weren’t seen as you needed to be, or if being seen as a child was truly not safe, you may have learned to find safety in isolation
So when it’s time to show up and BE SEEN now, it’s incredibly vulnerable, makes you feel self-conscious, and requires a level of TRUST that’s foreign to you.
There are so many ways to show up and be seen.
When you want to grow a business you love – online or offline – being seen can look like podcasting, video, writing, networking, displaying your work publicly… letting people know who you are and how YOU can help!
Those are all ways to show up and be seen.
And it’s difficult because to do it we have to be vulnerable – and deal with the things that make you feel self-conscious. And you have to trust.
What does it feel like to be seen?
- It feels like acceptance, connection, belonging
- You’ll feel inspired
- It feels validating
- You’ll feel pumped with energy
- It makes you want to be accountable, to connect, and to commit.
It’s important to learn what your “Zone of Genius” is and how to tap into it as much as possible. When you do this, being seen becomes a lot less scary and feels authentic, rather than forced. We talk a lot about this in my Facebook Group, Soul-Aligned CEO. I would love to see you there and learn more about you and your business!