As a coach, I subscribe to a lot of other coaches’ content, a lot of personal development, and a lot of self-help.
We all say things like – “nourish yourself to nourish your business”.
And, I think we are committing a gross disservice when we say that, and that alone.
Not all businesses require such deepening into the self and self nourishment.
I do believe that every single business owner and executive and frontline employee of every single business will only benefit (and that in turn businesses will only benefit) through more self-depth/self-knowing/introspection/awareness. I do believe that individual personal development will only add and never detract to a business or a venture. But – big but – it is not required (at least not explicitly and very much not in the beginning).
What is required is to be in the work itself.
Let’s talk about it.
If you are starting a sock knitting business, I believe that you should spend the majority of your time knitting socks, regularly. Especially if it was your love for knitting socks that planted this idea for you to start a business knitting socks.
And yet, this is much easier said than done. Because what happens when we finally start a business doing what we love, is that the thing that we love so much, that we want to bring to the world so much, gets somehow inadvertently placed on the back burner. We start to focus all of our energy on things like, marketing, websites, selling, etc. When those things don’t gain immediate traction, we look to coaches and experts, hiring them to teach us about things like “growth energetics” and “magnetic marketing” and “being authentic”.
And then we get burnt out. We stop knitting the socks because we are burnt out. We start saying things like “my business wasn’t an energizer, but a depleter of energy.” And then we try to pivot into a new business, a more lucrative business.
But in reality, did we ever give our sock-knitting business a chance?
I’m not sure. I am sure that I witness and work with so many individuals who get stuck in this cycle. So, I’m here to clear something up.
When coaches (including myself) say “to grow your business you have to be your best, be fully yourself/embrace your authenticity, and be in the energy of your offers” that is only half of the equation.
What you actually have to do if you want to grow your business is to simply be in your craft, to be devoted to your craft. Because it’s through this devotion to your craft that you will
1. Become really fucking good at it (if you aren’t already in which case you’ll get even better) and
2. You will inadvertently and naturally become the best version of yourself. You will see what you are made of (aka learn and know yourself deeply). You will come to appreciate the fuck out of yourself and your work. And, you will then, very naturally, be in the energy of your offers.
You see, nourishing yourself is both being in your work and a byproduct of being in your work. In fact, being in your work is not marketing, not selling, not building a brand or a website, not hiring a coach to learn about wealth energetics, or hiring a healer to heal yourself. It’s simply doing the thing that you set out to do – relentlessly, rain or sunshine.
Invest in yourself by investing in your craft, by showing up for yourself and your work every single day no matter what the results are.
Steven Pressfield, in The War of Art, says “A professional schools herself to stand apart from her performance, even as she gives herself to it heart and soul. The Bhagavad Gita tells us we have a right only to our labor, not to the fruits of our labor. All the warrior can give is his life; all the athlete can do is leave everything on the field.”
And I say that all you can do and control is what you bring to the world. You are not your craft, you are not your business, you are not the thing that you bring to the world. But you do need to give it your all because your heart tells you to, not because you want to make a million dollars. Not because it’s successful or unsuccessful. Not because you are focused on the outcome or the reward.
The outcome and the reward will be there, and it will be beyond whatever your wildest dreams can imagine but only if you show up in your craft day in and day out. Let the showing up be the thing that shapes you. Let your work itself teach you. Let the depth in your craft grow you. Let the journey be the reward because it will reward you.
Personal development after personal development – AKA program after program, coaching and more coaching, will only lead to anguish when you hone all these skills within yourself but not the discipline to put them into something real and tangible.
What if you measured your sock knitting business on the quality of the socks that you produce? What if you measured your team’s work, not on how many things they did, but on whether or not they did the right things, and how well they did them? What if you measured your consulting business not on the dollars you sold each month, but on the results of your clients? What if you measured your spiritual business, not on the number of clients who book, but on the depth of connection within each session or transmission?
Because to be honest, great work is rare and it’s priceless. And the amount of money made means abso-fucking-lutely nothing in terms of the value of the work that you put out into the world, especially when it’s good.
But it’s only going to get good, if you show up to hone it.
So if you enjoy knitting socks, knit socks. If you turn that into a business, keep knitting socks. Spend incremental amounts of time on other important components of business (like marketing, sales, SEO, website, brand, leadership development, coaching, etc.), but spend the majority of your time in your craft, getting better at what it is that you do. Let that guide you in your work and in your business. Let that grow you in yourself and watch as that grows your business too.
There is no guarantee when you set out on this venture that you will be the next knitted sock influencer, or mega-corporation, or the one to end cold feet. And while it would, in fact, be easier to act with a guarantee of success, we have a right only to our labor and not to our reward.
And if that is true, what is truly worth laboring for? What is worth giving your absolute all, day in and day out, regardless of the outcome?
That’s the thing to focus on. And in focusing on that, you will become the very best you that you could possibly be, you will see who you are and what you are made of, and you will very likely also see success beyond your wildest dreams.
So, if you’re going to hire a coach to achieve success in your heart-centered work: don’t hire a coach because they have made it. Hire a coach because they will keep you in your work until you have too.
P.S. I am accepting applications for a 12 month group mastermind program, The Quantum Sessions. It’s an experiment posing the question – what would happen if you showed up in your work, consistently and with strong group support, for 12 months straight? Five spots remain and the application is here: https://www.honeybook.com/widget/the_corporate_psychic_194130/cf_id/630e075d30fdda00ad36f0e9