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DISCOVER and LIVE YOUR CALLING! Launch a PURPOSE-CENTERED Business
I remember when I was running at lightning speed at my corporate J-O-B from 8am to 6pm (if I was lucky) every. single. day. My days were full of transactions with little opportunity for substantive conversations and completely lacking real connections.
I would get home and be too exhausted to spend time with my husband or my daughter, who had significant medical challenges and needed her mommy.
No matter how many times I was promoted or how much money I was making, it just wasn’t enough. I wasn’t happy. I wanted more balance, more freedom, and more meaning in my life.
My hunch is if you’re reading this, then you can relate. For whatever reason, you want to leave your current job and create a new and better life for yourself.
Congratulations on making that bold decision! To help you on this journey, I am here to share with you 5 Simple Steps To Creating A Successful Business So That You Can Create The Life You Really Want:
Step 1. Get Crystal Clear About Your Mission!
The first step on your journey is to ask yourself this question: “How do I imagine serving my clients?” You want to get crystal clear about the ways you will help people and the problems you will solve. To help you answer this question, write down the names of colleagues, friends or family members who have benefited from your abilities. Categorize the types of people you most often seem to be assisting and ask yourself, “What problems did I solve for this category of people?” This will open your eyes to the value you can bring to the marketplace in your new career. Our work world is changing rapidly and more people than ever are feeling stressed, out of balance and disconnected. Life-enhancing products and services help people live a more balanced, satisfying life. Now is the time for you to be a part of that! Your existing strengths, gifts and talents are the clue!
Step 2. Identify Your BIG WHY
In launching any new endeavor, the old adage applies: "If you don't know where you're going, any road will do, but you may end up in Abilene." In other words, if you don't have that deep bubbling well of motivation that fuels you from a powerful sense of purpose, you will probably take a wrong turn, spend unnecessary time and money and potentially derail your business. Get in touch with the WHY behind your choice to provide a particular product or service. Make a list of times when you have experienced being totally in the 'zone' in what you might call a 'flow' state — times when you were engaged in an activity or task and you were totally unaware of time passing or whether you had skipped a meal — these may have been times in either your work, leisure, school or hobby times — look for themes that emerge from the list. Ask yourself: "What motivated me during those moments? How can I bring the essence of those times into my professional life? What values of mine are evidenced in those times?” Write it all down (you can even mind map it if you’d like)!
Step 3. Get An Accurate Picture of Your Current Reality
A study by Inc. magazine revealed why most new businesses and entrepreneurial ventures fail. What's your guess? When I pose the question to participants in my classes, 80-90% reply "lack of vision.” In fact, it is the inability to get an accurate assessment of the current state of the business that derails most new ventures, not the lack of vision. It's essential to tell yourself the truth about your starting point, without letting it throw you! Whenever there is a gap between our current reality and our vision, there is energy that is seeking resolution, a bit like stretching a rubber band tight between two fingers. There is energy in that tension! But for many of us, the discrepancy between our starting point and our vision drops us into a state of anxiety or 'psychological' tension. When that happens, learn to refocus on your vision and listen for what that 'gremlin' voice, or inner critic is saying -— don't feed that gremlin voice! — take any small step toward your vision in that moment instead. Be truthful with yourself about you current state so that your vision is built on a solid foundation, not on shifting sands — but don't get derailed by life in the gap!
Step 4. Map Out Your HOW
Build a clear process map, like a flow diagram, with the steps you will help clients move through when they engage you as a provider. Mapping this out will build your confidence and what is often called a sense of 'conscious competence'. In other words, we often intuitively know what to do in the moment to be of service to someone, or help solve a problem, but we haven't taken the time to articulate our process and so don't fully 'own' it in conversations that could naturally lead to client engagements.
Step 5. Get An Accurate Assessment of Your Skills
Mapping out your process may reveal a few holes. You may find there are some steps where you feel uncertain of tools and practices that would best serve your clients. There are assessments available to help you inventory your strengths and target areas for growth in competencies, skills and professional 'presence'. A seasoned business coach can also observe you in action, perhaps by having you role-play situations, and then give you invaluable feedback on places to firm up your toolkit and process!