I was watching MasterChef the other day, and Joe said something that really got me thinking…“Sometimes you have to not worry about the aesthetic, and go back to the basics and fundamentals.” That’s exactly where I feel like I am in the season of my business right now – it’s time to get back to basics.
This has been a year of transition for me, and it’s been extremely difficult. I feel like I’ve been having an identity crisis, not just within myself, but within the business. Not because I don’t know who I am or where I want to go and be. It’s the “how to get there” that has been so elusive, and it’s been a legitimate struggle for me.
I feel like I’ve lost my sense of self. I’ve immersed myself so completely in my client work that I don’t even recognize what I’m supposed to be doing for myself and for my business. I’ve realized I need to go back to the basics, back to certain things that I did in the early years of my business. I need to reevaluate everything from the foundation on up and really step out of the day-to-day, so I can look at the business holistically.
…What has my business become, and where am I going?…
Whose Dream Is This Anyway?
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading Double Double again and pulling out all of my notes and workbooks and sheets from Racheal Cook’s Sweet Spot Strategy. I needed to circle back around and remember what was at the heart of where I was trying to go.
When you’re in the daily grind of your business too much, you take on the role of dreamer for your client. You often take on their dreams, their goals, and their ambitions — kind of like an actor does with a role.
[bctt tweet=”When working for others, don’t lose yourself.” username=”freshtakepro”]
I can see now why artists have a difficult time letting go of the characters that they play and why pieces of them are left behind in those characters. It’s the same thing with strategists, implementers, and people who work with other people.
If you’re going to do your job right, you should take on their dreams — at least a little bit. You should have their best interests at heart. But, sometimes, along the way, you lose yourself.
I’m sure parents can relate to this as well, where their children and their partner become the focus of their world. They wake up, they live and breathe to make life better for them, to do things for them. And then somewhere along the way, they wake up and wonder where they are.
Hitting the Reset Button
Circling back and returning to the foundations has probably been the best thing I could have done to help course-correct my internal spiral. In doing so, I realized how I could strengthen the walls of my own business and how I could now restructure things in a way based off of the lessons that I had learned.
At least once a week, I hear someone mention that entrepreneurship is both the hardest and most self-reflective thing that you can do. For me, that’s certainly true.
I’ve learned a lot of lessons just this summer.
I’ve learned that my communication is not always clear.
I learned that 90% of the time my loyalty is to other people and not myself.
I’ve learned that integrity isn’t just what you say — it’s also what you do.
I’ve also learned that sometimes leadership requires you to hold up someone else on your team and to put them first. It also means being just as accountable, open, and honest as you expect your team members to be.
I’ve been reminded that emotions play a huge role in the creative process and those emotions can end up sidetracking and sabotaging your work.
[bctt tweet=”Boundaries aren’t about saying no to others. They are about saying yes to yourself.” username=”freshtakepro”]
Back to Basics
One of my biggest challenges lies in having strong boundaries. Boundaries act as your guide and help you to stay focused and on track. For clients, boundaries set the stage for what is and isn’t acceptable — and these are all good things! But I’ve never really been good at boundaries.
I’ve always been the person who wants to roll up their sleeves and dive in and help, support, and care for people. The problem is that when you’re trying to do that for one person, then the next person, then the next person…you spread yourself too thin. Eventually, you can’t possibly complete everything you’ve committed yourself to. Then you start to look like the person who had a lack of follow through, who cannot be counted on.
Rebuilding Your Foundation
I recently looked up what it means to be faithful, and I was reminded that to be faithful in the little things means that you’re faithful at much.
It’s the little things in your business that are those foundational pieces. It’s the prep that you do before you start a project. It’s all of that groundwork that has to be laid and in place. We often think we take care of these foundational pieces once, and we can forget about it, but that’s simply not the case. In order to move forward, you need to do maintenance, check in with yourself, and sometimes, you have to rebuild.
I’m definitely in the middle of solidifying my foundational walls in my business, and I’m recognizing where I have gaps.
When was the last time you’ve done that for your business?
If it’s been a while (or you’re in need of a little more fire in your belly or focus in your world), join me in the Fired Up & Focused Challenge (created by one of my most favorite business strategists, Racheal Cook). Let’s get back to basics together and fire up our focus for the rest of 2018!