09 Mar Giving Your Business Your Best
One of the mistakes I made during my first run at entrepreneurship was feeling like I needed to either stay hidden or wear some sort of mask each day. As if to say, “I can’t be who I authentically am. There needs to be a ‘work me’ and a real me.” If you’ve ever had a job where you didn’t fit the culture, you understand. If you’ve ever been an introvert in a highly extroverted office environment, you understand. There’s you and then there’s a separate iteration of you that comes out from 8 to 5.
When you operate a business or most especially, when you are running a solo desk on your own, you can’t hide anyway.
Infuse your business with your best.
Trying to keep up a false image gets really old. Plus I am guessing that you didn’t climb the mountain to get to where you are to continue wearing a mask for most of the day. Didn’t you want to be accepted for who you are? To help people who fit in with your area of expertise? To not obey koo-koo managers and vanity metrics? To have freedom? It’s definitely not freeing to play pretend all day. Part of how you give your business your best is by being your true self.
You are not Burger King.
Their slogan used to be: “have it your way, right away.” Back in 2014, even Burger King did away with that jingle. If you are stuck in that mindset of letting everyone else have it their way, shake it off! Another mistake I made was listening to other people and giving a lot of my power away. You have to use a good filtration system when you are working with others. Some of the business and financial decisions I made went against my gut instincts, but I rationalized them to myself by saying, “Well, someone else says this is a good idea…” You want to have an open mind and an open heart while still being able to tune in very clearly to your own gut instincts. It’s not your job to ensure everyone else walks away happy while you walk away miserable.
If you’re carrying garbage from the past, set it down.
Someone who is both a friend and a business mentor once said something I carried with me for a long, long time. He made the comment, “You’ll really have to censor what you say because if people ever knew what you truly thought, you’d be exiled off to an island to live alone.” At the time, I laughed it off and said something self-deprecating as a deflection but it hurt me. A lot. Because essentially, it was someone I admired telling me, “If people knew the real you, nobody’d want you around.” OUCH.
Last year I decided to set that garbage down and walk away from it. It’s not true and I do not allow that person to define who I am or how I relate to others. I bring it up here in the hopes that if anyone reading this has had a similar experience, they can be inspired to also let that mess go. If negative comments from yourself or from others have kept you from bringing your best into your business, LET. IT. GO.