As 2009 came to a close, there was a bandwagon out there. It was the “Bash 2009” bandwagon.
I loved 2009. I loved it as much for its challenges as its successes. In fact, I believe that the tumults we’ve faced as a global community are forcing us all off auto-pilot and into a place of deeper creativity.
I know. I know. That’s not a popular opinion for those who are out for status quo, security and comfort.
You can have status quo, security and comfort when you die, right?
For now, here are 5 large lessons I learned in 2009:
1 – Our Growth is Proportional to Our Investment.
This lesson is one of the gifts of owning your own business – though it sure doesn’t seem like a gift at first!
The employee mindset goes like this: “Hey, when the company pays for it, I’ll do it.”
These past two years, I’ve invested more in my education and coaching than ever before. Yet again, I had to move past the “employee mindset” and plunk down my own moolah. Not only did I step up and play a bigger game, (When our cash is involved – we gotta show up, right?!) but my income skyrocketed.
2 – Clarity Trumps Practicality.
Last March, I had the idea of putting on a big event later in the year. (Eventually, it became the Wide Awake Weekend.)
I said something like this to my coach: “I just don’t know if this idea is practical, given the economy.”
Sheri gave me that look that coaches give clients when the client has just stepped into the Land of Crappy Thinking. She said, “I don’t care if it’s practical. I care if you’re clear that you want to do it.”
I got clear. I did it. It was great. (Yes, even in this economy!)
Clarity trumps practicality. When someone is clear, and they take action from that place of clarity – then practicality has no choice but to move aside and let manifestation occur.
3 – Systems Are Sexy.
I’ve always been great at “winging it.” I’m creative. I’m intuitive. I take action.
The only problem when you’re good at winging it is that you often live in chaos, and you tend to see everything on your to-do list as urgent. After a while, this leads to burn out.
Systems require that you step back and look at your daily activities with deep reflection. Systems require that you ask: “How does this work? How can we make it more effective?” Systems allow you to step away from your work, take vacations, have weekends – and most blessedly, have lots of free space in your mind for creativity to bloom.
4 – Ignoring your Business and Marketing Doesn’t Make You Humble. (It makes you fail.)
I was a big fan of the statement: “Do what you love, and the money will follow.” It’s a beautiful philosophy. And true on so many levels.
But I used it as a way to ignore the business side of my work. After all, hey, if the money will follow – then I don’t ever have to deal with it, right?
I’ve since learned that avoidance is not a game plan. Neither is hope.
Even though I was busy in my business this year, I experienced a deeper happiness than ever before because I understand how run my business and marketing. In the same way that creativity and songwriting taught me so much at the beginning of my career – facing my business and being brave enough to market my work has taken that learning to a higher level than I ever imagined.
5 – Serve. Or Be a Servant. The Choice is Yours.
You serve others with your attention, your intention, your health, your clarity, your awareness, and your power.
You serve others by charging what you’re worth, taking care of your health, honoring your time so that you’re not distracted or multi-tasking, by making requests rather than complaining, and by taking full responsibility for your thoughts and actions.
When you’re a servant, however, you’re a slave to the ego, which wants you to believe that serving others means ignoring yourself. After all, the ego would prefer that you remain powerless, fearful, and unaware. That way, it keeps you tethered to the idea of “security.” When you don’t understand power (or service), you need security for survival. The ego is great at security.
The difference may seem subtle. But the power of this lesson has been staggering.
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