What would you risk to have the business and life that you love?
My question is – do you love the business you are in and the life you are living? I would hope that your answer is yes and if it isn’t, what are you going to do about it?
Until a few years ago, I wondered what I might do when I grew up. As I approached my late fourties, I began to get quite anxious; what might I be doing that lit up my life, that even if there was no cash I would do?
I didn’t know.
Over the years, I had trained in all kinds of things, mostly business (MBA, marketing, leadership skills and IT) and a few non business things like reiki, crystal therapy, nutrition and creative writing. One side fed my desire to be a better business person, and I loved the challenge, and the other side was to feed my creativity and spirituality. Little did I know that all of these things combined would be what would give me the greatest pleasure.
At the time of doing my MBA I was married, for the first time, and back then I didn’t think that I had risked anything to get this qualification. Now, looking back, the risk was that as I changed, my partner may feel threatened and that would shake the foundations of an already shaky marriage. It did – I left a note on the microwave: “Please leave immediately”. He did. Today I am glad that we are friends.
My reward was confidence. I worked in a male-dominated industry, and after closing a very nice high-value deal, the MD of this company said to my boss, “Your secretary has looked after me well.” My boss said my face was a picture, and he tormented me for some time to come – in a nice way. The risk could have been that I punched said stupid man on the nose and lost my commission. My reward was a fat commission cheque and I did smile as I walked away.
Later I risked all kinds of comfortable jobs for the next exciting one only to be rewarded with something that was less than compelling. The reward was always more money and greater benefits. In the end, a big fat salary became a millstone around my neck. I was grateful to be made redundant and have to consider “What would I do?”
At the same time my long-term personal relationship was painful. One day I decided no more: the risk of living this way was killing me. My reward – time to heal.
What if …?
If school had been interesting I probably would have paid attention instead of getting expelled. When you learn the hard way, money and security become motivating factors, as does the desire to prove that you are not thick. These and other things drove me for years. What if, at school, I had known about values, passion, purpose and vision? What if I had followed my heart? What then? What risks might I have considered to be worth the reward of living my heart’s dream?
I will never know. Life is a long lesson that continues to smack you in the face until you take notice. The risk is if you don’t take notice you might die before you have a chance to live, laugh and love.
Later this year I am moving to Spain, just me and my two dogs. At first the idea of such a risky venture scared me – Again I asked, what would I do? Then it dawned on me that if I didn’t take the risk of this adventure, I might die having never tried. That is reward enough for me.
Today, I want you to ask yourself the question I started with: “What would you risk to have the business and life that you love?” Please let me know what comes up for you.