We are quickly coming to the end of the first half of 2019. You have not heard much from me this year as I have been dealing with the illness and loss of my father. The amount of emotional strength and mental capacity required to support this transitional time, not just for myself by for all the others affected by this, has been challenging and, at the same time, solidifying for our relationships. This year I have lost one parent to cancer and the other to dementia. One gone from this world and the other quickly leaving their past reality. All I can tell you is that having close family and great friends have made this painful time much, much easier to bear.
I have also been on another path of transition this year, not just the journey of life, love, and loss, but in my business. Almost a year ago I disbanded the last CEO Elite council, even though over the previous two years, 100% of the members that stayed with the program had met or exceeded their goals for their business. It was working for them, but not for me. I could hear the words I use for my students ringing loudly for myself: “If you are not making money in your business, you basically have an expensive hobby.” By the end of the semester, the students will be completing this sentence as I drill this concept into their minds for their future business launch. And, here I was, creating hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in new business for my clients, but not for myself. So I closed it down to discover what was not working.
This past year has had some great successes, new programs, new clients, new opportunities. It has also had some challenging work, income decline, loss of focus, and feeling like a fraud. Those of you that know me well, know that I look at everything as a possible way to create new learning for others. I learn to teach. For example, everything I have learned to help my children grow up has been lessons I can apply to help my clients grow their business. So here is what I discovered over that last year that changed my business and will help you grow your business as well.
I Couldn’t Do It For Myself
The things I was able to do for my clients I could not do for myself. I could not hold myself accountable, I could not see my path clearly, I could not see what was not working, I could not build my own council and hope someone else would run it for me with the skill I had. My business was failing because I could not do for myself the same amazing things I was able to do for so many other people.
I Need To Listen To My Clients
“I was hoping for more of you,” was the input I got from an introductory meeting I had held for the CEO Elite. This introductory meeting was to help guests feel out what the peer-driven council would be like, but with unvetted guests, it was not as powerful as I had hoped. I thought that getting into the vetted group would help those people experience that expertise, but it was still more of me, the business strategy expert, they wanted. It sounds simple; they said they wanted more and I should have just given them more, but I didn’t believe them. It was my blind spot.
I am great at what I do and people come to get me to do that for them, but I don’t feel that it is enough. I have the “imposter syndrome”, like so many other people. I have seen this in most of my clients in some aspect of their business or another. In my experience, it shows up as a bigger problem in more women than men. The problem with this is people don’t hire people that don’t believe in themselves to the core. I come across as confident, knowledgable, and experienced. If someone had said to me, “you don’t believe in yourself” I would not have understood how they thought that was true. What I learned is that the core belief is different than the facade belief. I am confident, knowledgable, and experienced, but each step up the complexity level put me on new ground. I had to learn more and I didn’t feel the expert any longer. There was always someone better and more experienced at what I wanted to do or be.
Pulling It Together
So how did I reckon my inner knowledge with my inner beliefs? Like a building with a beautiful exterior, people could see in the windows to my core, and they saw an empty building. “I’m not an empty building, I am full.” That is what I had to work on. I had to fill my empty building with inner work to ensure that I showed up confident, capable and willing to do the work that I was called to do. It’s actually harder work than just getting the details complete. It is harder because it is not visible. I could not see it for myself. I needed to have someone else to give me insight and clues as to what was going to work better. I had to spend time trying new things, learning new concepts, working with new people, investing in me. These are the kind of things that, to me, feel like weakness. But the stronger I became at seeing what was unseeable, the less weak, or incapable I felt about having to do the work. In fact, the people I most respect and admire, spend time doing their inner work too. The people I know that struggle with any part of their lives, often refuse to do any of this work for themselves.
Am I an expert at helping myself grow? No, I leave that expertise to others to help me find my way. Have I learned anything to help my clients? You bet I have. I have new tools, new insights, new stories, and a new perspective on what my clients want and what they need to be even more successful in their business and life. The good part is, now I am growing with them so I can continue to be the expert in their lives too.
If you and your team are working to create your growth path, this is the perfect time to have a business strategist come in and help set that path for you. If you are the CEO of that team, then I am the advisor and confidante you need, that keeps you confident, accountable, focused and able to do the work you are called to do in your business. After all, I didn’t accumulate all this knowledge and experience to keep it all to myself, I am a teacher, let me share my wealth with you.