It Started With A Dream

Did you watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics? Thousands of athletes from every corner of the world. What an incredible spectrum of humanity. As individuals each and every one of them had earned the right to be part of this event. And it all started because they had a dream. They believed, they excelled and they made that dream come true.

But having a dream isn’t enough. There needs to be something more to sustain that dream that will continue to motivate and inspire. Purpose, passion, commitment, an inner drive. Ultimately it always comes back to that inner game whether that is in sports, business or life. Of course you have to develop the skills and experience but without the inner game it would be hard to stay fired up and achieve your goal.

Same is true in your work, your business. You had an idea, a dream to build your business that would support the life you want – more freedom, more joy. But now perhaps you’re holding back maybe you’re afraid that if you’re going to try and grow more you’ll have to work even harder than you already are.

Growing your business doesn’t have to be a struggle. What you need to understand is that as small business owners and solopreneurs we tend to create a job for ourselves rather than a business. We go from one project to the next, getting the business and doing it. That’s a job and it feels like being on a treadmill running faster and faster. So, what’s the difference, what do you need to know to grow a business that serves your life rather than creating a job that steals your life?

First, most small business owners and solopreneurs believe that they ARE their business.  If you believe that you need to change your point of view because you are not your business.

Your business is a separate entity from you. Start paying attention how you talk about your business. Do you refer to it as me or I or do you talk about my business. Do you talk about being self-employed (to be employed you must have a job) or do you refer to yourself as a business owner, an independent entrepreneur. It’s helpful to become aware of your language. It’s an important step in separating yourself from your business so you can work on growing it rather than just working in it.

Often when I introduce this idea to my clients they tell me, but Ellen, I AM the business. If I’m not here there is no business. That may be true but hear me out. Your business is a holistic system. Just like human systems are made up of different components – body senses and mind so is your business made up of different components. Those  components are doing, getting, running and guiding your business. It’s true that if it’s just you or you and others juggling all those components and if nobody is there to do, get, run and guide the business there wouldn’t be any business to do, get, run and guide. This may sound like semantics but my clients have found that if they start thinking that way about their business they become more able to view it as an entity that they can grow into anything they envision it to be.

Try this for the next couple of weeks:

  • Pay attention and remind yourself to refer to ”my business” rather than “I”. See if you notice a difference in the way you view your business.
  • Become aware what part of your business you’re working in – are you just going back and forth between getting and doing the work. Are you spending time in running and guiding your business?
  • Remind yourself why you started your business – do you remember that dream that started it all? Are you still as passionate about it or what do you need to reconnect with that dream?

2 Comments

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2 Responses to It Started With A Dream

  1. Love this article and the one about time….I really like the visualization and mantra aspect to creating our work to be a business versus a job. and related to the time article…..it is amazing how minute to minute we get behind because we allow ourselves to get distracted by calls, emails, opps for fun, etc. rather than rewarding ourselves when we get the priority done…totally relate to both articles and thanks for the great food for thought.

  2. Love this article and the one about time….I really like the visualization and mantra aspect to creating our work to be a business versus a job. Regarding the time article…..it is amazing how minute to minute we get behind because we allow ourselves to get distracted by calls, emails, opps for fun, etc. rather than rewarding ourselves when we get the priority done…totally relate to both articles and thanks for the great food for thought.

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