In my line of business, it’s almost a given that I would love Elizabeth Gilbert and I do. Oh, how I do! I’ve read her books, been on her fantastical journeys and I even hear her voice in my head quite often. I follow her on Facebook and check her content daily. When I saw her begin to roll out the release of her book Big Magic, well, needless to say, I was excited! I am a fan with a capital F!
I would really love to tell you that as I’ve got my shit all figured out, but, alas, that is not the case. In fact, I’m a DAMN FINE Business Therapist because I haven’t gotten my shit figured out! I’m in the struggle, just like you! This keeps me hungry and “in the game,” wanting to learn and grow; hungry for knowledge; needing support and guidance. I feel where you are because I am right beside you.
One of the practices that I try (desperately, I might add) to adhere to daily is reading some kind of inspirational text first thing in the morning. Some days are better than others. You see, I continually fight with my inner rebel when I try to put routines in place. Maybe you can relate?
Recently, I had my inner rebel in check and was quietly reading and highlighting passages in Big Magic before starting my day. Very Coach-like of me, right? I came to a story in the book about Professor Robin Wall Kimmerer Professor of Environmental Science and Forestry and author of Braiding Sweet Grass. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how Dr. Kimmerer asks two questions of her first class, her natural science students. She asked them: “How many of you love nature? Raise your hand.” Of course, they all raise their hands because they’re students studying nature. She then asks, “How many of you believe that nature loves you in return?” Needless to say, it was a very different scenario. All of the hands went down. She then went on to talk about the maddening practice of investing time and money in something that you believe doesn’t love you back.
This struck me like a bolt of lightning! As a Business Therapist creating a coaching practice and business, I have been approaching things all wrong. I asked myself the following two questions:
Do I love my business and my coaching?
Yes. Yes, I do! I love my clients. I love the work that we do together. I love being a part of their journey. And most of all, I love seeing the measurable results they get and being liberated from the trauma that is impacting their businesses.
I then ask myself, Does my business love me in return?
NO. It doesn’t! I feel like my business is a fickle mistress. She smiles on me one day and turns her back the next. She’s a taskmaster always wanting more and things are never enough. I cannot garner favor from my business! It runs from me, making me prove myself over and over. “No!” I cried, “My business does not love me!” In fact, some days I think it wants me dead! It feels like I am in an abusive relationship with my business! WHAT?
I was shocked! I was appalled! What I didn’t realize is that I somehow managed to recreate every dysfunctional relationship I ever had and manifested them in my business. My Inner Critic got on her high horse and began to berate me: “Well done, Nicole. You are now in an abusive relationship with your own business! How could you have let this happen?”
And at that moment, I vowed to change the way I related to my business from then on.
But how could I fix it? What could I do now that I had this A-Ha? You know what? Easy! I fixed it with ease, and it’s made all the difference in my business and in my life.
Let me show you how to end your abusive relationship with your business and, in its place, create a love affair instead. This is what I did:
- I wrote a list of all the things I wanted from my business as if it was a person; what attributes I wanted; how I wanted to relate to it.
- I wrote down what kind of partnership I wanted to have with my business. I made it detailed.
- I wrote love letters to my business.
- I wrote love letters from my business to me!
- I began to imagine my coaching business as if it was an entity, an energy source, a partner in creation to communicate with.
I realized that I had not been in a relationship with my business. Instead, I was an employee of a mean, evil boss — a boss of my own creation. I was a minion to my own Inner Critic. But no more!
I am now thrilled to tell you that I am in a hot, heavy, loving relationship with my business. I love my business and it loves me. I nurture it and speak of it lovingly and when I do, it responds in kind.
It saddens me that I created this divide between me and my business, unknowingly. Without my “awakening,” I would have continued to live that way. I’m thrilled that the words of Big Magic created an A-Ha moment that led to self-discovery and, in turn, to one of the most important relationships of my life. Watch out for me and my business! We are a Power Couple and we’re going to create some of our own “Big Magic!”
Do you relate to my journey here? Could you be in an abusive relationship with your business? Do you feel like you’re an employee to a mean, unrelenting boss? Want some help changing that? Let me show you how to fire your Mean Boss and fall in love with your business. Stay tuned for more posts on how I did this, and how I can help you fall in love with your business again. Are you curious about how trauma may be impacting your business? Check out my Trauma & Entrepreneurship Assessment here.