From Hiding to Shining: 3 Steps to Create the Business and Life of Your Dreams – On Your Own Terms
Have you experienced the feeling of being stuck—like you keep repeating the same pattern over and over—as you long to have the fulfillment you truly want in your business and life?
I believe it happens to all of us! You get caught up in old stories about what you can or can’t have. You put your dreams on hold or push them aside.
Or, worse, you give up on them completely.
There are bills to pay and mouths to feed. You have to be smart and sensible about your future, your retirement, your sanity.
Or you think you’re not smart enough, rich enough, young enough, old enough, educated enough, loved enough or fill-in-the-blank enough to really go for what your heart is truly longing for.
So you stay stuck, or you stay in hiding.
I know this pattern all too well.
When I was in my early 20s – yes, I’ll admit that was about 25 years ago! – I had a dream to be an entrepreneur.
I wanted to speak to and inspire audiences, lead workshops, facilitate groups and work with people 1-1 to help them transform their lives.
So I began taking steps in that direction. I created a Mastermind group. I attended workshops and trainings to develop my skills. I put together a personal growth presentation (called it Open the Door with Rapport!) that I delivered to a roomful of friends and acquaintances. I even had it professionally videotaped.
I was on fire. That was in 1993.
I let the dream go.
I didn’t think I had what it takes. I got caught up in comparing myself to others and “not enoughness.”
I got caught up in the need to make money, have a steady job and do what I knew how to do. I stayed in the comfort zone of the “known.”
Which was to go to work Monday through Friday from 9-5 and use my marketing and communications skills to help others be successful.
Now, 23 years later, the entrepreneurial dream is alive for me. I’m living it.
I’m regularly speaking and leading workshops. I now emcee a monthly women’s networking group. And I’m continuing to coach others to success in their businesses and lives, but I’m doing it on my own terms.
What made the difference? These 3 critical steps:
1) Trust your heart and start with the question: What would I LOVE?
A question I often ask my clients is “What would you LOVE?”
That’s the first question to ask yourself when faced with a big or small decision.
Not what’s the best deal, what’s going to make you the most money, or what’s the smart or sensible thing to do. Typically, those are questions that come from ego.
But when you start with your heart, that’s where you tune into your inner voice of wisdom, your Higher Self. Then, you can bring in the more analytical and practical questions, so that your ego is in service to your soul.
For example, I used the “what would I love” question as the springboard to starting my coaching business.
At the time, I was working a full-time job that I enjoyed. But, ultimately, I was feeling stressed out and unfulfilled.
I KNEW I was meant to have my own business.
And I knew it was my time now to step out from “hiding” and shine my brilliance in a bigger and bolder way!
When I got in touch with what-I-would-LOVE, I realized my heart was longing to have afternoons off to spend with my son, plus a longing for more personal time and the space to create my budding new business. I longed for breathing room.
So my first step toward my dream of becoming an entrepreneur was to cut back my hours at the full-time job.
Then, as I followed my heart and excitement, the “how” of leaving this job to start my coaching business – and ultimately, create a freedom lifestyle and financial success on my own terms – was revealed to me.
And 8 months later, I fulfilled my dream of being a full-time entrepreneur!
2) Leap before you’re ready.
Price Pritchett in his excellent book You-Squared urges us to “Make your move before you’re ready.”
He says to act first and then strategize while creating your dream business and life. When you do that, you’ll discover you can trust your instincts and that you know more than you know.
Writes Pritchett: “A quantum leap is a move that is yours for the taking. Right now. It represents a giant step you can make merely by deciding to and opening yourself up to the resources presently available to serve you.”
So when I decided to leave my full-time job to start my coaching business, I didn’t have all my duckies in a row. I didn’t know how it would all happen.
But I acted. I leapt.
I took the first step I knew to take and then strategized along the way. I followed the breadcrumbs and looked for signs that I was on the right track.
Was I scared when I took the leap and quit my full-time job?
You better believe it. But again, it didn’t happen overnight. It took 8 months from the time I decided to leave my job to when I actually left and started doing this business full-time.
3) Be willing to invest in yourself – and get support.
Let’s face it. We ALL need support in creating the biggest dreams in business and life.
But sometimes relying on just the support of your spouse, friends, co-workers, or family members doesn’t cut it.
There are those times when you absolutely need the support of a mentor, coach or consultant – especially if you’re starting or growing a business.
It’s essential to have someone who has traveled the path and can take you where you want to be, giving you the structure, support and accountability along the way.
This has been a critical step on my path. And ongoingly investing in my business and myself is essential to my success.
So I have a business mentor and coach, and I regularly receive training so that I can continually uplevel my skills as a professional coach and business owner.
Plus, I’m part of a weekly Mastermind group that holds me accountable.
Having a team of support around me helps me see my own blind spots and reveal unconscious beliefs that stop me.
My client Tom struggled for years on his own to integrate his 30-year career as a financial advisor with his longtime passion for teaching meditation and mindfulness.
Through our coaching together, he got crystal clear that his purpose is to bring forth BOTH aspects—the material and the spiritual—into his work.
As a result, Tom created the Mindful Money Institute, a nonprofit focused on helping money managers incorporate mindfulness and meditation to promote business growth and inner peace.
And, oh yes, our coaching also helped him get refocused on his business priorities, and he increased his revenue by 33%!
Bottom line: Take these 3 critical steps to create what YOU really want in your business and life. And please comment below!