For those of me that know me well, you know that I have a passion for music. For those that don’t, I will tell others that my home is a Broadway show. In my home we sing, we dance, we play piano and we do it with abandon.
Music does powerful things, it can evoke deep thoughts, lift your mood, give you a sense of fun, make you cry, help you release every emotion known to man! Music to me is LOVE in its highest form.
Last night as I was listening to my ever growing playlist, Tina Turner’s raspy voice singing “What’s Love Got To Do, Got To Do With It…” my thoughts turned to business (ha ha naturally right?)
What’s Love Got To Do With It?
When we start out in a new business venture, we are filled with hopes and dreams of what it is going to look like, how it is going to feel and be, all the great things that go along with it. Passion is ignited and BAM off we go. We become unstoppable forces, power houses of the universe and drivers of our economy. Watch out world, here we come! “Love Can… love can move mountains”!
Then as if by magic, despite all of the work it takes just to get off the ground and launch, we are smacked down by logistics. Business then becomes about bill paying, money making, marketing, getting the product made or the service completed and it can become some of the most stressful endeavors of our lives. We often pray to whatever and whomever just for a paycheque for ourselves!
Passion is replaced by stress, stress and more stress and we are searching for answers and wondering what in the hell we were thinking in the first place. Hey, this is not what I asked for… I asked for LOVE!
Oh wait my friend, you did ask for love, but what kind of love?
Fast love is hot. It is passionate. It is sexy in so many ways (oh ya baby). It brings incredible highs, your head is in the clouds and feelings of being able to conquer whatever is in your way. But fast love falls fast. It soars high and down it comes bringing with it the crash of a lifetime. Fast love is rarely self-respecting, it is built on non-sustainable energy and practices that leave us heartbroken, depleted, angry and resentful.
When I started my business now eight years ago, I thought I knew what I wanted. Turns out in hindsight, I had no idea. I received recognition, fast success. I was the newest and hottest thing on the block and my energy was catching! I am a naturally passionate, vivacious person (and I’m going out on a limb and saying you know what, I’m pretty smart too) with a get it done attitude.
Single handedly I was going to change the face of small business one client at a time and lead you all into sustainable financial victory. I could see the awards, the happy faces of my clients, my satisfied employees, the writing was on the wall. HERE I AM!
Logistics? What do you mean logistics? Oh my friends in business, you know this too, logistics can weigh you down, steal your thunder, beat you up and knock you on your butt. I was down for the count and struggling desperately to get back up.
The more I tried to “handle” all of the aspects of my business, the more stressed out I became and then the more I was pulled from what it was that I loved, my mission and my vision. There were only so many hours in a day and it was never enough time to accomplish everything required let alone wanted to do. Oh how the mighty have fallen, love had failed me and I had failed it.
“I deserve better than this, I’m a good person, a hard worker! I deserve to make great money, I don’t deserve to be treated this way!!!!”
Ever feel like that? I know most of us often do, in fact some of you have sat in my office sharing this very thing with me, not knowing I too was facing the same adversity.
But clearly, I hadn’t learned about true love and despite of all of the smackdowns, I kept going. Allowing my business to overtake my life, to mistreat me, to consume my thoughts. It became an obligation. Something I had to do instead of something I wanted to do. I slugged it out with the best of them. I sacrificed my soul, money, passion, my smile, my voice. If this is love, my friends, it is not good. The fast love failed.
Ok, so enough of the sour grapes here. What of true love and what is it?
When you have felt the effects of fast love for too long, we often lose sight or do not know what true love is. Well it’s simple. It is the opposite of fast love. Hey, it may start off with the same highs and there is nothing wrong with that. Being inspired and passionate is a gift that motivates us to greater heights. The difference is, fast love falls fast. It is not sustainable in the long term.
True love is built on a firm foundation and requires patience, self-respect, understanding, kindness, commitment, learning and growth both personal and professional. It is the understanding that it is a journey and not a sprint. True love doesn’t always come easy, but it holds the best interests of the company in a bigger vision. A longer term vision.
It is a perception, a mindset. New habits will have to be acquired and developed, new attitudes will have to be adopted, and new skills will need to come into play. Flexibility. Hey, you may have to completely change course, not just once, but over and over again.
Do you know what I realized? I wasn’t going to change small business by simple ethical accounting and best practices. My initial vision failed. It was too short term. I learned that business finances like marketing, like customer service, professional development, human resources and all of the different aspects of business are psychological. We can achieve greatness when we change where we are coming from.
COME FROM LOVE… TRUE LOVE
When we come from a place of love, whatever that love means to you (the love the business, the love of niche, the love of a product, the love of services) we act in the best interests of ourselves, our business and those affected by those decisions.
We seek to understand and grow into our roles instead of staying stuck in what doesn’t work and what depletes us in the long term.
We look down the road and say, is this a good choice in the here and now or is this a good choice for the future? We are able to give more and better to our clients and the business, because it is created from a place of mastery as opposed to meeting an unquenchable need.
So my question(s) to you are…
- Are you willing to set aside fast love and come from true love?
- Do you have what it takes to love long term?
- Are you willing to let go of what you thought it would be and give it the space to allow it to be what it could be?
- Can you redefine success and therefore redefine your business?
- Can you have the patience to allow your love to grow knowing that what you need to know and learn will be taught along the way through experience, others, observation, trial and error and other professionals?
- Can you adopt a longer term visions knowing that although sometimes difficult the longer term is better than short term outcomes?
Baby, what’s love got to do with it? Everything!!!!
With deepest true love for you and business,