How Being Authentic Changed My Life And Business
If you have a lifestyle like mine, you’re constantly feeling pulled in a million different directions. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a therapist, a mentor and a business owner – among many other things. Whew. Just writing that makes my head spin. As women, it’s no secret we tend to wear many different hats and take on many different responsibilities. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, or even worse, resentful. If you know exactly what I’m talking about, I have a message for you: It doesn’t have to be so hard.
When I first started on my entrepreneurial journey, I wanted to take on anything and everything that came my way. This was a combination of the people pleaser in me and my desire to to be “successful.” I wanted to help as many people as possible and still have the freedom to spend more time with my family, make impromptu travel plans and be financially abundant. So I did just that…or so I thought. I took on every potential client that called my office, and while I had the pleasure of working with some great people, I felt the stress of it almost instantly. Like most people, I did not start a business with the intention of being overly stressed out. Although I’m a realist and I understand that stressful situations are inevitable, this was different. My stress stemmed from not honoring who I was and what I really set out to do – change people’s lives and create a life I love for myself and my family. There was no doubt about it, I was helping others transform their lives, but I was becoming resentful of my business and the hours I was spending at the office. Something needed to change. Four months in, I made a commitment to myself to change things; to make things exactly how I pictured them in my daydreams. I was not going to work 6 days per week anymore, I was not going to take on whoever was on the other end of the phone line as a client, I was not going to feel guilty for referring people elsewhere, I was not going to feel resentful. While I knew all the things I was not going to continue doing, I didn’t focus heavily on them. Instead, I focused on all the things I was going to do and why I was going to do them. I was going to work 4 days per week to spend more time with my family doing things we love, I was going to take clients I felt excited to work with so I could be the best therapist and branding strategist for the people who were ready to invest in themselves, I was going to to refer people to other providers so they could get the help and support they need, I was going to feel excited in my business, thrilled to work with amazing clients and I was going to be financially abundant. All of these things were nonnegotiable for me. As a woman with strong intuition, I just happen to know that what you focus on will eventually become your reality. So I focused. I focused hard core.
Within a month, things drastically shifted in my life and business. I was down to 4 day work weeks and I was beyond excited about my business and the direction it was going in. I was spending more time with my family and I was working smarter, not harder. It felt incredible. I was happy and I was at ease, but most importantly, I was honoring myself and being authentic in my business. If something didn’t feel right to me, I didn’t do it. I kept a strong focus on the things that were nonnegotiable for me, and things continued to abundantly shift – personally and professionally.
If you’ve ever felt like you were selling yourself short in your life or your career, take it from me – it’s not worth it. It doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be extremely stressful, it doesn’t have to feel unnatural. Everyone has what it takes to create a life they love, but most people focus on the things that are lacking or the things that are not going to work. If you want to succeed and meet whatever your personal definition of “success” is, start by focusing on the things you will do, and why you will do them. Keep your nonnegotiables at the forefront and work at them everyday. Be genuine and authentic with yourself and others, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly people will be drawn to you. Always make a conscious choice to be who you really are.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices we have to make everyday. It’s about the choice to show up and be real.” – Brene Brown