Here is the surefire QUICKEST way to tank you and your business (ESPECIALLY a mission based business): BECOME A PERFORMING ANIMAL. I’m serious. When I learned how to stop performing– it GREATLY improved my business success, my relationship with my spouse and my friendships.
I am a childhood people pleaser. I’m a recovering good-girl and total rule keeper. When I was young, I realized that if I kept all the rules it made people happy. I wanted people around me to be happy at me and so I became an expert in knowing the rules and keeping the rules. (There is SO much more I can say on this….yikes! )
Anyway, to my dismay, as I started into the self-employment and business world, I found out that “keeping people happy” wasn’t going to translate into the success and impact I actually wanted to make.
What trying to keep people happy WAS doing was creating massive overwhelm and pressure for me. It was having me bend over backwards to try to make everything work for people “who may hire me down the road”.
Here’s the DIRECT UGLY TRUTH: I was making everything about me.
How I was coming across. How I was being perceived. What was my image. What do you they think of me. That’s understandable as a child—it’s a developmental stage. I carried this habit into adulthood though. That’s when it got messy.
That behavior and mindset translated in always trying harder. Always trying to do more. It led to a self-allowed exhaustion that was going far deeper than I knew. A good night’s sleep and pedicure wasn’t going to address this. It was a fundamental wake-up call that needed to happen.
I needed to figure out how to succeed without the pressure of “trying to look good”. Because the pressure to look good to be judged as good had me acting and feeling like a performing animal---trotted out of the cage, told to perform some tricks, be clean and prettied up. Do all the things asked of you---with a docile, sweet spirit. You can’t afford to speak up. You have to “do your time” (performing animal) to be successful.
Sorry , but f—- that. I’m over that. Here’s why….
The reason I got into business for myself wasn’t to become a burned out, self-tortured performing circus animal. It was to make a difference. It was to step into the confident leader I knew was inside of me so that I could actually HELP incredible, amazing, creative people rise to their greatness, not enable them the stay in their struggle.
And in order to step INTO HER, I needed to refuse to perform.
So, remember that DIRECT UGLY TRUTH: (making everything about me?) yeah…that was the gateway into my liberation. Make everything about THEM. (Wait—does that STILL sound like servitude to you? Making everything about THEM—my clients, other people---doesn’t that still sound like bending over backwards?) I know…it really can.
But what I learned for myself and what I delight in helping my people with now is to see---is SERVICE doesn’t have to equal SERVITUDE. They are FUNDAMENTALLY different. Service has a direct truth about it. It has a simplicity and a cleanness. In contrast, servitude has a complicated, heavy feel.
Servitude is fear dressed up. SERVICE is love—free and clear.
Why don’t more people do this? Um…because positive results don’t happen overnight. There might be even MORE conflict, misunderstandings and judgment at the start. Many people might start, come up against these challenges and decide that “this doesn’t work for them” or “they are doing it wrong”. Most people don’t stick with it long enough to develop the inner game to navigate this change or the outer skill set to make the transition as smooth as possible for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s a science and an art. There’s a process here. One has to learn the mindset and perspective. One has to learn the skills of genuine communication. One has to be willing to take it out in the field and try it in order to learn. Part of my job (and joy!) is to make this process as simple and light as possible. I can’t travel the mountain FOR you, but I sure can help highlight the simplest route and help shoulder the load a bit.
So, back to the topic at hand---how did learning the ins and outs of service versus servitude help my business? Here are a few results....
--I stopped promising the world. I started speaking honestly (this led to better relationships with clients and getting to do work I love with people I love).
--I stopped trying to look good. I started doing the work to be good (as I got better, my client's results got better, too. Deep calls to deep. Quality brings forth quality.)
--I stopped caring about my vanity metrics. I started doing what made a difference. (I ended up with more time and energy because I stopped doing all things and instead learned to do a FEW things really well—-artisan style!)
--I stopped needing to be liked. I started to learn how to love people. (Love = Service. Service = Impact. Impact = Success. Financial. Emotional. Mental. Physical.)
All very well for business but then what about personal relationships.
How has this shifted my relationship with my spouse? My friendships?
It’s changed EVERYTHING.
• My husband and I now aren’t afraid to have differences of opinion. Because I can confidently communicate what I want without fearing or feeling guilty about his response.
• When we have a difference, we know how to negotiate with honesty versus fear.
• With my friends, we know we can trust each other---not to say what the other person wants to hear, but what they need to hear.
• My friends know that if I don’t want to do something, I will tell them that without drama. And as a result, when I’m in---they know I’m ALL IN.
• When I stepped in and owned these skills, I also silently gave them permission to do the same in their lives, relationships and business.
• As a result, an unshakeable trust is built. REAL CONNECTION.
This is what I want to leave you with:
Business development isn’t just business. It’s YOU development if you embrace it as such. That development will ripple out and give you success on all fronts.
Servitude will kill you. If not physically, it will kill your spirit. It will kill the quality of your relationships and create distance.
SERVICE is love. It will set you free. It will allow other people around you to rise in their own lives. It will create trust and connection you never thought was possible. THAT is success on all fronts. That is truly being whole.
Let’s DIAL IT UP:
Where are YOU still performing in your life RIGHT NOW?
Where do you feel like you have to do x in order to get y (but secretly resent whatever “x” is)?
When will you finally CHOOSE to step up and step into the leader you know you are inside?
When will you choose to lead your business well versus let your business enslave you?