This is a very short guide to running a business in alignment with yourself and the Tao (otherwise known as The Way Things Work).
Deal With Money “Stuff”
It has no intrinsic meaning. If you hate it or avoid it, you are only hurting yourself. Learn how it works. Make it your friend. It’s a tool that you need to understand in order for you business to function. Approach it with neutrality.
- Beyond Worker Bee Mindset
- What Right Relationship With Money Looks Like
- Beyond Pie in the Sky Abundance Consciousness
- Business is a Journey About Love
Work With Your Fear of Exposure
It can be friggin’ scary. Understand where you are on the introvert/extrovert spectrum, and what you need to feel OK and safe in the world. Don’t try to go against your basic needs; you will encounter too much resistance. Instead, talk to your fear voices and ask what specifically they are afraid of. Ask them what would feel OK. Work with them, not against them. They are your safety zone, and you have to honor that because you are a mammal and you have no choice. It’s how your brain is wired. Ignore your fear and it will dig in its heels and stop you.
- Fear: Should You Bulldoze Through It?
- My Gnarly Cave-Like Fear of Showing Up Bigger In The World
- Have Resistance to Social Media?
- Find Your Natural Marketing Style
Know Your Strengths
Don’t just try to understand your fears and issues. Know your strengths. When you focus on your weaknesses, you will at best get marginal improvement. If you focus on developing your strengths, you can access your genius and become truly excellent. Build your business around your strengths. Build your marketing around your strengths. They are your greatest asset. They are also where you will feel most alive and useful.
Build a Support Network
Trying to build a business alone is a very bad idea. It’s a huge undertaking, and it’s hard, and scary, and exciting. You wouldn’t climb a mountain alone, would you? Everything is 500% easier and more fun with friends. I recommend having a Business Buddy (someone in a similar business you can brainstorm and sometimes collaborate with) as well as a MasterMind Group (a regular group you meet with to bounce ideas off and get support). Need more business friends? Start going to Meetups, Biznik events, and the free small business classes offered by the state. Find other business newbies and get coffee. Think of this as taking your business on a playdate.
Have a Process for Resolving Inner Conflicts
Our unconscious is a wild and wooly beast. You can’t always make logical sense of it, but there are ways to access and work with it. When you do, you can receive powerful insights and shift patterns that are impermeable to other methods. To work with our deepest self, my recommended tools are mindfulness and intuitive artmaking/journalling. Mindfulness is a state of observing yourself–thoughts, feelings, reactions–from a neutral, curious stance. Intuitive collage and writing helps you communicate with your unconscious, which “thinks” in image and metaphor.
Create Boundaries, Structures, and Systems
Your business needs internal structure for it to grow. You need boundaries between you and your business/clients for you to say sane. Systems are ways for you to formalize your boundaries and make sure both you and your clients have their needs met consistently and without confusion or messiness. It’s what “being professional” means, in the best sense of that phrase.
- Income Models for the Self-Employed
- Have a Boundaries Plan for Your Business
- Also check out Cairene at Third Hand Works on this subject.
Get Right With God (whatever that means to you)
There are things that move us that are beyond our control and outside our grasp. Learning to let go and let yourself be moved is how you achieve flow, ease, and peace. This involves deep listening to what direction you are called in and a willingness to let things unfold in their own time.