This past week’s evolving discussion on entrepreneurial, service and creative business has been really enjoyable!
I love hearing the stories, reading everyone’s comments and even being disagreed with. We have really dug into some issues that are on the minds of the majority out there in our fields and I know that all our thoughts and input are helping others now and will in the future when they are searching.
But there is one thing I really want to give some attention to that I keep hearing in the voices of artists, and massage therapists and musicians and a myriad of other creative right-brain, heart-led thinkers out there.
And that’s this general sense of guilt that it’s not OK to thrive.
There are two angles to this: Those who don’t have confidence that they can thrive and those who do have confidence, but don’t think they should thrive.
I keep hearing things like, “My motives are not money, I just want to make enough to get by.” “I enjoy this kind of work, so I don’t charge much because I’d do it anyway.” “I can’t afford much, so why should I expect others who can’t afford much to pay me?” (That’s a big one.) “I’m not good at business stuff.” (Another big one.) “I don’t want to seem greedy, or too focused on money.” “I don’t need to learn about business. Only greedy people do that.”
And on it goes.
Umm, hello! This may be news to you, but I don’t want to just scrape by. I know what that’s like and I don’t want to live it. I don’t want my kids to live it! My father was an entrepreneur with 4-5 employees, and we just got by. Thank goodness for Grandpa’s garden some years, because when there wasn’t profit after paying everyone, there wasn’t profit. And profit is how Dad got paid. And he was seen as a leader in the community. (He also had trouble getting paid by his customers.)
We survived. Obviously I’m here to tell the story. But we did not thrive. We did without shoes, scraped by on food and cut every corner we could.
Stop what you’re saying to yourself and to others and really think about that. Because I don’t think you really mean it when you say things like that. Because that would honestly just be weird to only wish to “get by.” We cannot grow on “get by.”
And I don’t want to just survive. I know how to do that and it’s not enough for me. I want to thrive. And that’s where I’m heading.
And you know what – you can come too.
I give you permission to thrive. And permission to say no to what’s unhealthy for you. Including poisonous customers and relationships.
I grant you permission to create a plan, a strategy and a structure that is good for you and good for growing your business. And if you get paid for what you do – you have a business! It’s not a bad word!
Learning and becoming good at business is not greedy. I give you permission to go forth and conquer – not the weak, but yourself.
I give you permission to be confident, brilliant and excellent – no apologies! No dissing your accomplishments, talents or yourself.
I give you permission to be successful. And you know what else? To define for yourself what success means to you!
I give you permission to earn a living doing what you love. And permission not to feel guilty because others don’t (yet).
I don’t however give you permission to be unkind, dishonest or apathetic.
I give you permission to be yourself fully and to enjoy making money.
I give you permission to take risks, to stray from the sidewalk, to do something breath-taking.
I give you permission to let go of “supposed to’s” and instead embrace “want to’s.” And to release all scarcity mindsets.
I give you permission to ignore advice! And your parents and your siblings and anyone else who is harming, not helping.
I give you permission to ignore good advice and strike out on your own path!
I give you permission to fail! And fail again! And to not see that as a bad thing!
I give you permission to allow yourself some clarity about what you really want in life and to let go of those inner blocks that are getting in your way and standing between you and the rest of your freedom.
Why am I giving you permission? Because apparently we haven’t all given ourselves permission. And hopefully, if you know what I’m talking about, somewhere in here is a seed that you can adopt and take home with you. Go with my blessing!
It’s time for us to commit if we’re going to master the calling of being an entrepreneur. Business is like a garden that requires love and tending. And it either thrives, or dies. Or gets overgrown and sidetracked by weeds. All of us artists, writers, musicians, and consultants – we’re all entrepreneurs. Don’t kid yourself otherwise, we are in business for ourselves. Art requires discipline and skill, just as does business! So we know we can do this! If an artist can sacrifice and pour out our soul to do what we love – you tell me why we can’t succeed at the core principles of good business!
I invite you to write yourself a code of ethics that embraces responsibility, integrity and ingenuity that you can embrace heart, mind and soul.
I invite you to be selfish and think about your needs: physical, emotional, spiritual, mental. Who does it benefit if you are not nurtured? Seriously! Who? Kill the starving artist mentality!
I invite you to think of your business as a child you are bringing up and to nurture it and yourself. To nurture the relationship you have with business and money. To provide it structure that it cannot provide for itself.
I invite you to forgive yourself and to be tender and kind in your dealings with yourself. And yet, not to be too easy on yourself either.
I invite you to analyze your business inward, not just outward. Find your unique value to the world. And find who benefits from that?
I say these things as much for me, as I do for you, because I need that encouragement too. I want my children to have it someday too. There’s been an unhealthy disconnect between the creative soul-driven worlds and business and we do not need to feed or foster it.
The key is our mindset.
What does thriving look like for you?
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