Surprise, surprise: there’s more to being a business owner than having free rein in your creative cave or rubbing elbows with digital royalty.
There’s more to it than making your own schedule or enjoying the flexibility of working from the beach.
There’s more to it than living your best life or following your passion.
Now, I know you know this.
But do you do this?
Because I didn’t use to.
I knew I couldn’t just do whatever I wanted to with my schedule, products, or systems and be successful—but I acted like I could.
I ignored the list of Asana tasks piling up in my inbox. I resisted planning and creating ahead of schedule. I shirked the responsibility of leadership.
And I did it because I was an en 👏 tre 👏 pren 👏 eur.
I was a creative.
It was my prerogative.
I had an excuse.
And having an excuse kept me playing small. It kept me conforming to a less mature, less sophisticated understanding of who I am and what I’m about.
Brianna Wiest writes, “Your ‘small self’ is a combination of habits, behaviors, and beliefs you adopted from those around you.”
I adopted those habits, behaviors, and beliefs because I thought the people I observed them in were having more fun. They seemed freer and more fulfilled on the outside.
They weren’t stodgy, disciplined, and overly logical like the other business owners I saw around the virtual water cooler.
But as time went on—thankfully—I realized the people who were always following their bliss were playing small too. I realized they weren’t any freer or fulfilled—they were stressed AF or enjoying the stability of someone else’s discipline.
A few years ago, I decided to grow up.
To start doing the things I didn’t feel like doing. To hold myself accountable to systems, planning, and leadership. To rewrite my habits and redefine what I believe to be true about myself.
It wasn’t comfortable at first (and it still isn’t sometimes) but I’m having more fun as a business owner today than I ever was before.
I feel less stress—even when things aren’t going exactly as I planned them.
What’s more, I’m more proud of what I’m creating, what our team is accomplishing, and how we run things. Our customers are happier. My body of work is more fulfilling to me and more impactful to my audience.
I learned that I don’t have to choose between following my bliss at the expense of discipline or choosing discipline at the expense of following my bliss.
I just had to commit doing what it takes to realize my goals—even if I don’t feel like doing those things sometimes.
Especially if I didn’t feel like doing those things.
Now, as I write all this… I worry.
I worry you’ll think I’m calling you out or putting you down.
That’s certainly not my intention—and, if you’re feeling angry at me right now, I’d suggest taking a look at your daily actions to see whether they line up with you who you really want to be or whether they’re the reflection of a smaller version of yourself based on assumptions about other people.
And then maybe practice doing 1 thing you don’t really feel like doing.
Let me know what happens.
Founder, What Works
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