As a business owner I come up against a lot of varying ideas, schools of thought, and prescriptive advice about how to grow your business, how to make more sales, how to make more money, how to attract more clients, etc. etc. Whether you are a business owner or not, people are always hungry to make a better living. People are always hungry to make more. And of course they are—it’s fundamental to our survival—just like squirrels gathering every last nut they can find for the winter.
As a result of this hunger there is a virtual sea of products and services for sale on how to do this, because if there’s one thing people will trip over themselves to rush to spend money on, it’s making more money. 😀
The content of these products and services range the gamut from simple and practical advice and next steps, to full blown ponzi schemes. In either case, they will all tell you their current theory on how you MUST be and what you MUST do in order to connect with people, make your sale, grow your business and make a better living, and basically every system all boils down to this:
1. Create a sense of authority
2. Find out what people really need/want
3. Make something that promises to fill that need
4. Create urgency
Here’s the thing, I am not about demonizing this or any other way of being or doing things here, the truth is persuasion is part of nature and the natural cycle of things, and you can see it in all walks of life—from a Bowerbird decorating its nest with intricate objects and sticks to persuade a mate, to orchids that look like animals to attract their pollinators—but here’s the “big ask” that you have to determine for yourself:
Do you want to make a living?
Or do you want to make a LIFE?
What I mean by that is, so many of us are of the mind set that you need to create a better living so that you can THEN create a life… the life you really want, that is. It’s a classic case of the “later’s”. In essence you decide to defer your joy and quality of life till later. You’ll live the way you want later. When you have the approval, the admiration, the respect, the business, the sales, the money. You think you will use one to buy the other.
But frankly, that is just pissing away your precious time, time that there are no guarantees on.
It is my suggestion that you drop this bad habit like it’s hot—and create the life you love and want to live NOW. Build a life and work you love and base all your decisions on those qualities of life that light you up, let them be your guide, and watch how the two different ‘aspects’ of your life become indistinguishable. Because you have found ways to bring those joys into everything you do. You’re not waiting for one to support the other anymore… they are inseparably the life you’ve made for yourself, not the “living“.
Don’t get me wrong here, in business sales are a must, it is the nature of the thing, and we all have to do it, even if it’s just selling your dog on a good sit and stay with the lure of a yummy reward. But if you don’t do it from your heart—your “true north”—it feels empty.
In my case, I took a good look at all the noise out there and decided that I will speak my voice, and my genuine passions, because otherwise it’s just sales. And sales has no inspiration in it alone, not without that ‘heart’—not for me, anyway.
I, personally, don’t want to create a life spent guessing what people need and then filling those needs just to make a living, because I’m not passionate about just guessing peoples needs and then selling them solutions. How can I be effective and add genuine value to anyone’s life if I’m ignoring what lights me up—the very thing that might make me valuable to them in the first place? It might be the case for some, but the call of my heart is not: “figure out what people need and fill it!”. I share what lights me up, and how that fits peoples needs becomes obvious, in the most natural way.
Some may say this is foolish and naive, but I have 16 years of experience in uncompromising commitment to building a life and business I truly love, and I managed to do that by following my heart instead of following the ‘proven track’. I started with no clients, and 16 years later I have a very long list of not just clients, but clients I love. Clients I love working with, and whom love working with me. Clients that constantly bring more warmth and ease into my life… clients that report the same back to me, and the effect that that’s had on their business. Clients that I laugh with, exchange funny notes with, or words of comfort in times of struggle.
I went from making no money and being let go from a company that was going under, to making more money than I ever dreamed possible for me back then while still having all the time I wanted and needed to do the things I love to do. For over 16 years I’ve been doing that,—so it’s not just a fluke—and it turns out it’s not so foolish either.
It’s not perfect. It’s not always easy. It fluctuates, waxes and wanes. There are leaner and fatter times. There is hard work to do, and endless challenges to be navigated…
but it’s the life I love.
Now. Not later.
I made my living work for my life. Not the other way around. No matter where you’re at in your business, job, or career, you can do that right now, today, by bringing the qualities of experience you most love into your work, no matter how small… somehow, someway.
Find out what those qualities are, and bring them in.
Make yourself a life,
not “a living”.