Building your business that does good for both people and planet
I keep thinking, building a business is like a really big jigsaw puzzle. I used to love doing those puzzles, sitting at the kitchen table or alongside my Gran Gran (that's what we called my grandma on my dad's side) if we were staying with her after school.
I went to the local DIY shop to buy a plunger for my slow draining sink. When I got home, filled the sink with water and plunged away, bringing up some ugly (but satisfying) goo, a thought popped into my head space:
"I have been exactly like a blocked sink lately."
I love bold, bright colours. A Springtime of lush greens, deep purples and vibrant yellows. And I love the delicate pastels of shells on the seashore. Soft relaxing greys, whites, pinks and blues.
I love hanging out in my yoga pants and I love the occasional opportunity to play the princess.
I'm all for the passionate, lustful kiss and the sweet sweetness of the gentlest brushing of lips.
I knew I was in the right place when Bill looked around the circle at us and said:
"I don't want you to believe anything I'm saying here. If you don't agree, say so. If there's something that doesn't make sense to you, say so. What I want is for you to find out for yourselves in your own experience what's true."
I've lost track of the number of times I've written on this subject (here's just one example), an indication of just how important I believe it to be and how rare it is to find others who are grounded enough in their own being that they have no need to sell us on their own beliefs.
I bought a bar of soap for my bathroom. I opened up the box and put it on my sink. And like the diligent young woman I am, every time I used the bathroom, I washed my hands with the soap once I was done.
And every time I put the soap back on the side of the sink, it would squirm its way to the edge and eventually slide down into the sink bowl.
Her physical body had grown frail with age and her time was spent bound to a chair. But her impish smile and the light that continued to dance across her eyes betrayed the ageless, endless soul that lives within us all.
As I sit here on my makeshift bed (I have a real bed arriving soon) in my new place, there's really only one thing I want to write to you today.
And that's to let you know that I understand how sometimes you look at all the people out there in your industry and feel inadequate in comparison.
I understand why, sometimes, you feel like there's no way you'll make it because those other people are prettier, funnier, more articulate, more talented, more experienced, and way better at making friends and connections.
"Find your own path and embrace the journey."
It was marked on one of those decorative boxes you can buy to store things in. It caught my eye. And yesterday, when I was out for a hike with a client-turned friend, it took on a whole new meaning.
Being back in the North of England feels a bit like being in a new country. And although this is the town I grew up in and so feels very familiar in many ways, I also feel like a child at Christmas, discovering all sorts of new gifts.
Yesterday morning I ventured into town to run a few errands and popped into a vintage clothing shop I'd been meaning to take a look at. Lancaster isn't known for its quality clothes shopping and I was keen to find something - anything - that might stock the sort of thing I'd wear.
Doubt. Procrastination. Stuck in the thought cycle of wondering if you’re good enough. Not sure if your work is reaching anyone. Feeling like no one cares about the stuff you really want them to care about. Feeling like you’re never going to get where you want to go. When your new idea tanks. When the money isn’t coming. When you put out what you believed was your best piece of work yet and all you get back is...silence. When you’re lonely. When the motivation just isn't there.
The tears fell from my client's eyes yesterday as she spoke out to me what she knew she was here to do. The power of her words was such that my own eyes grew hot and wet, too.
When you get to that place, when you touch on something so deep and real inside, there's just no doubt, no question: this is a part of that person's calling. It speaks so loudly in these moments there's no way of hiding from or ignoring it.
Every single person I know who's started from nothing and who's now beginning to truly see success, is someone who just kept showing up, no matter what. They might have had their moment or two of whinging or feeling sorry for themselves or just needing a break, but eventually they always get back up and carry on.
Today I'm done.
Done dancing around the truth. Done pretending I don't see what I see. Done with the worry that my words won't land or reach where I want them to reach.
There's something you have to know.
There's something you have to see.
You. Are. Infinite.
"Sorry to hear about your grandma, hope she makes a speedy recovery. Just let me know when is good for you, the best deals end Monday though."
That was what the car salesman said in his text message after I'd told him my grandma had been taken to hospital, was very unwell, and I didn't know when I'd be able to get back to the dealership to discuss options.
With that single text message, he lost my custom.
It's real, dammit.
The whisper, the feeling, the sense, the knowing that:
I'm here to create...something.
I'm here to change...something.
Never in all the years gone by and never in all the years to come will Life Force express itself in the way it expresses itself through you.
Last night I arrived home after a week in Turkey. It was a truly replenishing week. Daily yoga, beautiful food, dips in the sea and a wonderful group of people to share it all with.
This year I opted not to take any of the day trips and instead treated myself to a massage. When the masseur came to book us in and told us the price, there was a bit of a hubbub over the price. Most things in Turkey are a great deal cheaper than at home but the price for the massage was nearing UK prices. Myself and another lady booked in and I joked that perhaps he'd have the hands of God and it would be more than worth the price tag.
I arrived on Saturday night on the South Coast of Turkey. I'm spending the week in a little coastal village practising yoga. Almost exactly four years ago, I was here for the very first time, the start of a six week trip along the coast. I'd quit my job less than a month before and started my first ever blog which was filled in those first weeks with stories about my time in Turkey. Every day was an adventure.
Yesterday I went for lunch at the place over the road from the hotel. It wasn't here last time I came. Ilyas, the owner, who I'd met and spoken to in previous years, has opened up a little cafe/restaurant next to his home.
As you go about creating your own life and business, continue to question everything. Keep one metaphorical hand over your heart and listen for (and trust) those familiar tugs that tell you something’s not right.
Everybody wants clarity. To get clear. Clear on your message. Clear on your people. Clear on your calling. Clear on your niche. Clear on your offerings. Clear on how you help people. Clear on your WHOLE. DAMN. LIFE. And I'm just going to come right out and say it...
It's a waste of time.
Back home in London, I don't have a TV. I used to have a TV. A big one. Then I sold it. Then I stupidly bought another one and then sold that. Then I decided I really didn't want a TV. So I painted a big gold and yellow and red sun on the wall where the TV stand used to be instead.
But Keijiro has a TV. A big one. And Netflix. So we've been watching it sometimes.
And we've been watching episodes of this programme called Ace of Cakes. And when I first saw it I thought "urgh, I'm going to hate this."
Behind every single 'follower' is a human being with hopes and dreams and fears. So next time you find yourself hating the two people on your email list because they're not one hundred or one thousand people, focus on pouring your love and energy and attention on those people instead. Those two will soon turn to four and eight and so on.
Perfect is the enemy of success. It's also the enemy of impact.
Give up waiting to get it just right. The website. The videos. The book. The idea. The workshop. The programme. The truth is, no matter where you start, you're going to look back in 6 months, a year, or two years from now and cringe at what you created. Start where you are with the resources you have. Publish your crappy website. Share your crappy videos. Put out your first book. Run with the semi-formed idea.
You know those moments when you go in to a shop to buy a birthday/Christmas/christening/new baby gift but come out with something for yourself instead? This is a story about one of those moments. It's also a story about how to sell anything. So if you're in the business of selling stuff, you'll probably like this story.
If you're looking for engagement, you have to engage. Engage with what you really care about, the message you really want to share and the truth you really want to speak. And then you have to have the courage to speak it, full force, into the world.