This was one of several thought-provoking questions that was asked of me during my time in the hot seat with my mastermind group. What surprised me was that the question was exactly what I needed and I had an answer readily available.
This is not how my hot seat session started, but it was a critical turning point. I have been, for several years now, working on defining who I am (in terms of my career), what value I can offer to the world, and how this all ties into my greater purpose in the world. These are not generally questions you would expect to get answers to during a one-hour session within your mastermind session, but my group is awesome!
Books Make You Think
This journey began several years ago with the initial blog post in July of 2013. As with most journeys, it began with a sense of unrest, that something needed to change in some way – I just wasn’t exactly sure what that was. Over the next few years, the business continued in fits and starts, never quite gaining the traction I hoped or desired. Then just before the beginning of the year, things began to fall into place.
Ultimately my first idea was based on a concept shared in Austin Kleon’s book, Show Your Work. I decided if nothing else, I could blog about the process of growing a business practically from scratch. It was also the beginning of reconnecting with the value of books. I have never been an avid reader (more about that later this month), but I have always valued learning. So this year I also made a goal to read at least 4 educational book a quarter.
The two books I am simultaneously working through are Jeff Goins’s The Art of Work, which I started about a year ago, and Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy. Although their subjects are different, the ultimate message is the same: make the most of your life and all that goes with it.
Even though many people would believe that I am already doing this, deep in my soul, I knew differently. I know I am capable of so much more, not only for myself and those closest to me, but in service to the broader world around me. The discomfort and anxiety from this realization was palatable. It was time to quit wandering and make a more directed move.
The Right People Make All the Difference
This year, as I have been blogging regularly and sending out the Weekly Course of Action, I knew that I was finally beginning to move in the right direction. But the deeper drive was still missing; it was like catching a whiff of something, but not really being able to place the smell or the taste that was supposed to go along with it.
My VA is not only an assistant, but is also a great sounding board with a wise perspective she is willing to share. As I first began discussing this challenge with her, she helped me begin to see some of the unique perspective that I bring to each situation I encounter. I knew that the wise women of my mastermind group – with their varied backgrounds, experience, and insights – would be able to bring even more clarity.
The key is that each of these people are individuals I respect for their unique brilliance, trust to share my more intimate thoughts and feelings without concern, and know will tell me what I need to hear, not what I might want to hear (this last element probably being the most important of the three). Any one of them would not have been able to help me get as far in my thinking as the combination of their thoughts and insights has been.
Always Know Thyself
However, before any great insights can processed, we must first really understand who we are, where we are and at least some idea of how we got here. Of course the next step is to accept that reality – whether it is good, bad, or somewhere in between.
I have always been a big fan of the phrase, know thyself. And I am sure that this particular day it was exceedingly helpful. I was willing to speak my truth, truly hear what was being shared in return, and ultimately gain several insights that previously had gone unnoticed.
The result is that the next step of the journey is even more intentional than the last. It also means I am beginning to move with even more conviction.
Emotions are Overrated (Particularly in Business)
This was actually my answer to the question in the title of this post.
Tapping into our emotions has become a very popular topic. Although I do believe emotions can have value in some business scenarios, I think they also greatly hinder our ability to move forward in many situations.
This led to several other comments and discussions, several of which I am still in the midst of processing. Undoubtedly there will be more on those revelations in the days and blog posts to come. In the meantime, you will begin to see changes happening here to reflect the shift in direction.