About the time I left the corporate world, I had to make some big decisions on how to run my business. What my core principles would be. I decided to use the same principles I use for my personal life. When you own the business, it looks a lot like you anyway.
Some of the values were easy to choose: Be fair. Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t make up what you think something means, ask. Listen.
Then came the giant one: No fear. Do not make business decisions out of fear. Don’t make any decision out of fear.
It’s hard to keep that one. I had made business decisions based in fear for a long time–fear of my boss, fear of not meeting the team goals, fear of the competition, fear of getting fired.
A decision based on fear is frequently loaded with other weak motives. Revenge, neediness, lack of control. If you take fear off the table as a motive, your life looks different.
So this week, I made two huge choices that would normally strike fear into me. First, I hired a consultative comptroller–someone who can tell me which line of business is most profitable, and how I’m progressing month to month and year to year. I’m bad about keeping track of expenses, and this business consultant already pointed out two big truths that I have not wanted to consider.
The second decision was to hire a real ad agency to build a website that makes sense for my business. Right now I have a placeholder website and that’s not enough.
In other words, I have decided that growth is something I want to choose. I want to expand the business training I do. I want to do coaching programs. I am amazed that after all the talking I do about the Inner Critic, I have not only been listening to mine, but backing away from playing big. Yep, I have been deliberately playing small because it became my comfort zone.
I was doing too many things to pay attention to any one of them. So I cut back to what I do best: helping people get better at what they like to do. For me that means writing, teaching writing, and coaching people who want to have the life they wish they could deserve.
The whole plan is big and bold and oddly, scary. That means I have to trust that I can do this, write the check to get the process started and leap. It’s what I talk about–being bold. I’m telling you, because you are coming along with me–I’m starting to walk this talk. Stay tuned for late-breaking developments.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach. She teaches what she does.