In my last letter to you all, which was, I admit, quite some time ago, I issued a Rallying Cry — a call to action, to make change, to DO something about what is happening in the world. (If you need a refresher, you’ll find it here.)
And then, I didn’t write again.
In fact, several of you wrote to ME, and still, I did not write.
The truth is, I didn’t really know what to say next, because I myself hadn’t figured it out for ME, and was therefore deeply uncertain as to how to support others.
What do you do when you know that things are shifting, when the world around you is as unstable as ours (seemingly) is?
How do you ensure that you’re on track, settled, and secure, when often the very concept of “security” seems like a mythical unicorn?
So now that I know what worked for me, having taken the time to put it into place, I’ve some insight for you, dear reader.
As often is the case, I find that things from my past often rise back up again to help me to anchor my present (and therefore my future.)
I was noodling on this a bit last week when it hit me: When I used to talk about business design, way “back in the day,” I always spoke about The Four Pillars of Profitability.
Hmmm…Pillars. Pillars denote strength. Four Pillars give me a sense of stability. Hmmm….perhaps I was really on to something all those years ago…Could it be of value today?
And Good Medicine (aka doing a damn good job).
Those were The Four Pillars of my business…the foundations upon which I built my first business 15 years ago, and what I coached on for years.
And I needed to look back at them for my own self, in my own business. How was I doing, really doing, with these Four Pillars today?
Money: I feel pretty darn good with this one, likely better than I have ever felt. And not just because I am making more, but because of how mindfully I am spending it! And SAVING it. I’ll be ready for my tax bill this year, money in hand. My bills get paid on time. I like the way we accept payments — it’s pretty smooth. I adore my bookkeeper, and I’ve a financial coach and advisor who keeps me on track. We’re hitting our revenue targets each month. And I am socking money away in my Profit Account (as per the Profit First Model). I’ve carefully trimmed expenses (I get tired of all these “10 bucks here and 12 dollars there expenditures that add up — time to cut a bunch!) And I had a lengthy conversation with an accountant about incorporating — it’s almost time.
So yeah, with this Pillar, I felt really pretty good. Puffed myself up like a peacock, in fact…and then…
I got quiet. And listened.
Hmmm…maybe there was something I still wasn’t quite as solid on with this Pillar as I had originally thought…felt like there was something deeper…beneath the surface…what WAS that there, niggling away?
I did a wee mediation…some intuitive work…and then:
Oh. Yeah. There It Was.
It was that sneaking, niggling fear that this whole thing may implode…that, despite 15 years of successful self-employment, it was all Just. Going. To. End.
And with that insight, I set to making it “right” so that this Pillar of mine could be as steady as I need it to be.
Marketing: Well, this one came easy. I was falling down on a few things. Hadn’t written in a couple weeks. Have an old website that’s still up despite having discussed taking it down a year ago. And I was tired of all the social media posts we were doing. Time to cut that back. A quick team meeting and a pep talk to myself to get back into the writing game, and here we are…back on track.
Mindset: Okay, I will admit it. It had been awhile since I had actively and consciously looked at my patterns and behaviours and habits and thoughts that were forming the foundation of my work. So I scheduled some introspective writing for myself. And because sometimes we can’t “see” our own crap, I booked time with my coach. I uncovered a few more bits that were having an impact — not “just” that money mindset piece I mentioned above. Some old patterns were back…I was over-booking my schedule…I was missing “small” details…and I needed to, quite frankly, get my shit back together a bit. Uncovering these pieces meant I could then make the moves I needed to change them — not just the “actions” of over-booking, etc., but the thought pattern that lurked beneath the action. So off to my healing team I went…and I made the adjustments I needed to make. I am not perfect — but I am getting better, and that’s all I think we can ask of ourselves.
Good Medicine (aka doing damn fine work): How was I serving, anyways?!? I mean, really? Was I showing up? Was I doing what needed to be done? Was there room in my heart and mind for doing that “little bit extra” that I like to do for my clients? Where was I “failing” to serve well? What needed to shift so I could be proud of my work? Were there things that my clients needed from me that I wasn’t even aware of? How could I find out? How could I incorporate them into our work? It was time to put on my Intuitive Hat that I wear when I work with others, and use my skills to track into my own clients and discover their needs and wants. I’ve made lists now based on my discoveries, that will form the basis of my work moving forward…and ensure I am providing the best service that I can into 2018 and beyond.
Four Pillars, all examined. Looked at from my mind, through my heart, and with my intuitive eyes.
Lists made. Changes undergone. Things put into motion to bring me solidly into 2018.
This is what I could do, in the face of uncertainty and “weird-ness” in the world around me: I could stabilize ME to the very best of my ability by stabilizing my business. And, in stabilizing my business, well, I also stabilize me.
It’s a funny world in which we find ourselves right now. Not “funny ha-ha,” but “funny strange.” It’s scary at times. Heart-breaking in moments. And devastating, too, in turns.
So I invite you, dear reader, to do what you can to stabilize YOU right now…to carry you strongly into 2018 because, quite frankly, that’s how the world needs you to be: Strong, Ready. A Pillar, if you will. For boy, the winds are a-blowin’, and we need you here with us, dear one. We need you.
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Rebecca Liston helps her clients predict, pivot, and compete in an increasingly complex global marketplace. Her clients quickly uncover the root of their challenges and know the actions to take to overcome them. A six-time nominee for the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award, Rebecca combines business strategy with intuition, giving her clients the edge on forward-thinking, elegant answers to their most complicated problems. Her clients are entrepreneurs with CEO-mindsets and executives with entrepreneurial instincts. She is based in London, Ontario. What if you could get the answer to your biggest business challenge, in one sitting? Visit rebeccaliston.com to find out more.