"The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn’t induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead. And if the second sentence doesn’t induce him to continue to the third sentence, it’s equally dead” (William Zinsser)
I just googled ‘how to start a blog post’ and finally found the words that inspired me enough to begin writing.
Do you know how long it has taken me to put this first sentence on this page? Months. You know why? Because you never know when something is going to come out of the blue and how much that something will change your life forever.
Nearly three months ago, in April, I lost my mother. It was sudden, even though she had been unwell, we thought it was going to be figured out but when she was admitted into hospital, the absolute last thing on our minds was a funeral. But that is how it turned it out and I’m not ready to talk about it in any more detail than this, for now.
What I do want to talk about is how we manage our businesses when life throws it at you. Because, life will throw it at you and everything can change in an instant.
So here are four crucial keys to help you in business when life punches you in the gut and catapults you into the unknown, with no warning.
Replace Fear with Belief - Miracles literally happen in front of your eyes when you give more energy to your dreams than to your fears. Listen up, you will fail at times - that is part of what it means to be human! But guess what? When you whole-heartedly believe in the living freedom that your business can bless you with, you will keep going. And by holding your belief, by keeping on going on, you will learn the lessons you needed to learn! You will grow stronger in knowledge and experience to become faster, smarter and more skilled. This is the most foolproof and powerful path to a business and life you love.
Become Constantly Consistent - We need to take action Every Single Day - no matter what. Find out what works best and stick to it, on a consistent, day by day basis to build your business. Don’t waste time, procrastinating and pretending to find new and different ways to progress. Master what works and master what brings money - that is what you are in business for! Develop this discipline for the day that you will need to take a break. It is this rigorous practise which makes you strong, building muscles that help you to stand firm when everything else is lifted off the ground with chaos or uncertainty.
Embrace Imperfection - Stop trying to be perfect. To hell with perfect - to hell with it. Perfectionism is the root of procrastination and for a business owner, this will only keep you hostage. Perfectionism drains you all your inspiration, keeping you stuck in one horrible spot of indecision which just invites fear to come in and have a party - yuk. Whatever it is that you need to do, just do it. Move on, get it done and be happy with it possibly not being the best it can be. With practise everything you do will get better. But that cannot happen if you are stuck, immobilised with fear of not being perfect. So just get over it, get it done, get moving and keep growing.
Stay True - Be yourself, as they say, because everyone else is taken. This means, set out to develop a genuine relationship with your clients that is based on honesty, integrity and reliability. Then, when life happens and you get knocked over, you can be honest and say so. If you are lucky enough to have clients like mine, they show up for you, they support you, and they don’t give up on you when you have to step away for a little while. I'm getting ready for my next business intensive retreat Gnó Le Croí / Business with Heart - which will be here in Gweedore on the 31st August I'm so grateful to all the people who shared their experience of the last one in March 2017 because there are only places left on the next one.
So here I am, still strong, still grateful. One side of my life has everything I have ever wanted and the other there is a deep sorrow. I still believe that we can do anything we set our minds to. Moving closer to my dreams every day, without my mum to share them with, but still moving somehow … Knowing more than ever that we cannot wait until we are ready, until things are perfect.
"Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends" - Joan Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking (2005)
So that is my message today in this blog. Nothing in this life can prepare you for that moment when your life is changed in ways that are totally beyond your control. This is just a fact. But you can develop strong roots in your business that mean it will support you when you need it to and be there when you are able to return.
I'd love to hear in the comments how you got through a similar situation?