I am allergic to colour, clutter, cats and cryptic text messages.
A few other things I know to be true about myself;
I’m outrageously impatient and unquestionably decisive. I move extremely fast, but hate being rushed. I’m loyal to the death, but take a while to warm up. I’m an ideas person, not an execution person. I’m completely self reliant, but forever in need of validation. I am the worst version of myself after 9pm, unless there’s wine involved; and my creativity is inanimate by 3pm, unless there’s coffee involved. I need to learn new things and feel constantly challenged to wake up chirpy. I find ideation and conception especially rewarding, but detail and execution categorically torturous.
I also know that I can sure as hell get in the way of my own success.
I’m disgracefully stubborn and wickedly headstrong, and therefore often narrow-sighted. I have to push myself to think laterally and analytically. I don’t communicate in detail or technicality, I express my top-line vision and expect others will keep up with my thinking. I keep pushing myself and forcing progress, when really I should take a break and find new inspiration. I’m impulsive and act on instinct which means I often end up far from my proposed destination. I’m addicted to momentum and despise stagnation. I operate at a million miles per hour and need systems, solace and salt water to keep me grounded. I repeatedly forget to reward myself and then wonder why I’m left feeling unsatisfied and despondent.
I’m also terrible at logistics, reading maps and pretending I like someone if I don’t. And my god, if you insult my way of being in the world I will crumble into a steaming hot pile of self loathing 3am thoughts.
(I’ve also just spent nearly 300 words talking about myself, which I will probably land me in a similar place at 3am tomorrow morning.)
All of this is to say that no matter how impeccable someone’s Instagram feed looks, how shiny and successful their business seems or how stain free their white outfit is, it doesn’t mean they don’t get in the way of their own success. We all do it. Every day. That’s the essence of the human experience – we trip ourselves up to learn (or unlearn) how to free ourselves forward.
The thing is, self awareness and business success move upward on a scale together. One fulfils the other, and vice versa. To date, the ups and downs of my business success have completely mirrored the ups and downs of my own gratification, expansion and implosion.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the more work you do in here (*taps fingers on chest*), the easier it is to steer your business in the direction of success. As someone who has been pretty successful at stockpiling my own needs and feelings, it’s been a huge effort for me to come to the table with self awareness, humility and open hearted grace, both for myself and my team.
Becoming a business owner is amazing, rewarding and the ultimate form of self expression, but it’s also riddled with uncertainty, instability and forced self-exploration. Even when all you want to do is zip up your spirit, pack away your feelings and just get on with the bloody job, having a business doesn’t grant you the luxury of doing so.
Every day being in business teaches me something about my own perception of and place within the world. For which I am both incredibly grateful and undeniably pissed off about.
When it comes to business, there is no mucking around. So, let’s dive into the things that might be getting in the way of your business success, that ultimately YOU can change.
- You’re not listening to your intuition.
Oprah, Eckhart Tolle, my hippie neighbour and all those other enlightened beings are right, your internal compass always knows best. If you aren’t listening to your intuition, don’t expect to end up in a place of alignment or fulfilment – no matter how hard you work. As I’ve said before, trusting my gut has been one of the most influential tools in building my business.
- You’re chasing shiny objects.
If you’re in business to land yourself a Malibu Mansion, I hate to break it to you, but it might take a while. It goes without saying that a successful business will reap the rewards, but growing a successful business requires you to stay on purpose, no matter the shining, seemingly-profitable distractions. It’s important to not get distracted chasing shiny objects or short term gratifying wins over your purpose or long term goals.
- You’re diversifying too soon.
I’ve been contemplating getting this phrase tattooed on my arm. As I mentioned, I am impulsive, decisive and am running at a million miles per hour – an incredible recipe for confetti throwing. Just because you have a million ideas per second, doesn’t mean that you should pursue all of them. Or any of them for that matter. Slow down, think about your end goal and only act on things that are in complete alignment with where you want to be.
- You’re playing the short game.
Chasing quick wins is tempting because of the dopamine hit. We’re human – we all want satisfaction, validation and some kind of reward, ideally every second of the day. But as I’ve said, business is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself and make decisions that will grant you longevity in the game. Think big, think broad, have endurance and have faith in your ability to make it to the finish line.
- You’re not honouring your energy.
Until you actually stop and rest, you may be unaware that you’re completely overworked. Listen to your body, and take notice of where you’re getting distracted or frustrated – it can be the first sign of a burnout. Give yourself permission to recharge; escape for a weekend away, or give yourself that much needed sleep in. My friend and mentor, Pru Chapman says – “Giving the nervous system some downtime to allow for a whole-body rest will bring you back into balance and in closer alignment with your authentic self – that’s where the magic comes from”, and I couldn’t agree more!
- You’re going at it alone.
Working in a silo or a vacuum doesn’t fast track your route to success, in fact it does quite the opposite. Us human beings are tribe species – we operate best in a pack, with a sense of community and belonging. Business and personal success is much easier (and much more fun) when done with a sense of collaboration.
- You’re being too modest.
Forgetting the importance of marketing is a super common way I see business owners blocking their own success. Business success requires constant promotion and putting yourself out there. Unfortunately, our customers need to be constantly reminded to purchase from us. It doesn’t have to be the cringe-worthy kind, we’re talking about promoting yourself in a sincere and authentic manner. Back yourself, your team and your success.
- You’re aiming for perfection.
I live, breath and will most likely die by the saying, ‘Done is better than perfect’. It’s why I can work so fast and productively – because I’m not stuck in getting things perfect. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day – they were laying bricks every hour though.
- You’re not prioritising yourself.
You’re not feeling rewarded (paying yourself last leads to feeling resentful, trust me, I’ve been there). The thing is, entrepreneurship is a g-damn thankless job. There’s no boss marking your homework, giving you an A+ or even a simple pat on the shoulder. Noone congratulates you (with the exception of your ever-loyal and doting mum), and no-one validates your great work. It’s an inside job. You’ve gotta have a deep well of grit, determination and stickability. Just make sure you don’t lose sight of your own efforts and success, and reward accordingly.