On a colder than usual day last year, I woke up yet again with an enduring feeling you might know: It felt like I should be living the dream, but waking up every day was beginning to feel like a chore in and of itself. I was right around six-figure earnings in my business, living in my dream city and making my own brand happen. And everything felt like a drag.
Money is a result. It always is.
But I’ve learned the nitty-gritty way that we must train ourselves into being a happy and successful entrepreneur by outlining, drafting and polishing how we want to feel in life and defining what success looks like to us. How and with who you want to spend your money. That’s the why behind your hustle. A few months and many journal nights have passed since that morning and today I recognize why I felt a stray:
Somewhere along the way, I had stopped asking myself what I wanted.
Many people dabble in entrepreneurship for different reasons, but down to the core of it, we all have a “why” for starting our own business. We all have a deeper dream, goal or desire that drives us to put it all on the line. We have a deeply ingrained passion. Discovering and standing for our passion might make the difference between miserable goal achievements and everlasting bliss.
I want to share with you the steps I took to reconnect and align my passion with my business.
1. Break it all down.
Grab a piece of paper, a pencil, and some markers. Enlist all your projects and tasks. All of them. Use colors or any other visual code to highlight the ones that bring you joy and build up your creative momentum, from those that you consider less than desirable. Notice and acknowledge how much of the list is colored with the “I’ll do it for the money”, “I can’t afford to lose this … “ “Suck it up” tint versus those that you truly enjoy.
2. Dig deeper.
Run through the “not so fun” tasks and projects and reflect on the source of the feelings. It could be you just plain dislike the task itself, but here are some other questions to ask:
- Am I compromising with deadlines that undermine my process? Or that require me to sacrifice other priorities?
- Are the project goals and vision clear for me? Do I connect with them? Does it call for my prime skills and talents?
- When thinking about the outcome, do I feel happy?
3. Strategically plan for more joy in your life.
Narrow down and strategize to get the bottom three items out of your life as soon as possible. You may outsource, help the client find another service, or lovingly set yourself apart. This is your life, your business. Make sure you have a positive balance of the exciting, challenging, fulfilling colors that light up your life. You’re the heart of your business. If you love what you’re doing, it will be reflected in your work.
4. Check in with yourself.
There’s a new project coming your way, and just like buckling up and adjusting your mirrors before a drive, make a promise to yourself to reflect on a simple question: Do I want to do this? This ensures that you set yourself for a pleasant drive, where you can see clearly events and challenges incoming, and remain in your place and be safe even if a hit happens.
Safety first. Desire first. Passion first. And this is the outcome you can expect after that kind of set up for a ride:
- Clearer boundaries for your personal time and your business time.
- Your clients can expect that you’ll be able to deliver products that you’re passionate about and devoted to. In return, growing business relationships and referrals (YES!)
- Appreciation of “No” as a tool to clear space for clients that align with your offerings, that understand your process.
- Use that clear space and time to grow your own projects and keep your desire ever growing.
And above all, the bliss of cruising the entrepreneurial roads with integrity, happiness, and growing success. Make sure your own light doesn’t burn out by asking yourself one simple question before every important commitment, “What do I want?”
You are worth it. Your business is worth it.
Your success and happiness depend on it.