Making Room for Transformative Change
We're coming up on the last month of the year, which always has us reflecting back on the past 11 months. It truly can be a magical time, if we don't get caught up in the emotional triggers and consumerism of the holidays. The longer nights make for a perfect atmosphere for regular introspection. Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, it's nice that most of us slow down from the typical routine for a couple of weeks.
For many of us who own businesses, this is also the time where we are dreaming and planning ahead for the new year. It's naturally a time when we are really hopeful and optimistic. And, it's a great headspace to be in when we're creating from this place of abundance and positivity rather than from desperation and scarcity.
That said, I think it's wildly important to consider two things prior to jumping straight into the Next-Year-Planning Mode:
- Take a look back at what you've accomplished this past year, and seriously make the time to celebrate those wins! Most employees get an end-of-year bonus; what can you do as the CEO of your biz to treat yourself? Accomplishing each of your goals shouldn't be another checkbox on your career To-Do list that you routinely tick before you start trekking uphill towards the next goal. Marinate in the goodness for a bit. You totes deserve it!
- While it's important to chase after what feels good and brings us joy, we also have to build a business that is sustainable (aka profitable!), so we need to take stock of what has already been working in our business. We have short attention spans, so many times when we take a look back at our highlights from the past year, we're only pulling up events from the past 4-5 months. It's important to take time and review your notes and really track how you did. Take out your planner (or scroll back through your Google Calendar) to see when those initial contacts were made. Download an annual report from your invoicing software to see how many clients you worked with, who were they, and when did you do the bulk of that work?
All of this is leading me to what I think is a pretty perfect card that I drew for December in my Year Ahead Spread.
My card for December: Death
For those of you who are familiar with tarot, then you know that the Death card is not a cause for concern. It does not mean that any literal death is looming for you or someone you love. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It's about the releasing of old patterns of behavior, unhealthy habits, negative relationships, and anything else that is possibly holding us back so that we can create more expansive space for all the good to flow in. It's about intentionally creating transformational change by shedding an old skin. And it's not to say that I don't think this act of letting go will always be easy. We cling to the past because it's familiar, but if we wish to grow into the truest version of ourselves, then change is inevitable.
So here's the deal—even with all of the reading, inner work, introspection, meditation, yoga, tarot, podcast listening, etc. that I've done, I still struggle with letting go. Call it my Type A personality; call me a control freak; call it what you will. But this is an old story of mine that I am actively working to rewrite. I have been slowly making strides over this past year to make change for myself and my business, but now is the time to make some tough decisions and embrace the Life-Death-Life cycle. The cycle that knows that when we completely relinquish what no longer serves us, we create the space to breathe new life into a transformed way of being.
Before I head straight into the planning for next year, I'm taking ample time to celebrate my wins (hello, staycation 2.0 over Christmas with just me & the hubs!), as well as take ample time for a deep reflection of this past year.
In March of 2018, I'll be hitting the 2-Year Anniversary of owning my own business, and that means I am no longer a new business just starting out. I have to reframe these ideas that I'm "just winging it" or that I just "hit a stroke of good luck", and realize that my business is successful because I am work damn hard at it. And y'all, the act of reframing my definition of success has been a really tough one for me. I'm having to redefine my feeling of what is enough, and what makes me feel abundant.
How I'm defining success.
- Success is waking up with no commute and getting to work in my PJs.
- Success is going on a lunchtime walk and pretend to make friends with any stray cats I find along the way.
- Success is working from the hammock on beautiful days.
- Success is feeling immensely fulfilled from sharing ideas with clients and seeing their businesses soar.
- Success is finding my voice, and ultimately finding myself, on this crazy entrepreneurial journey.
This is my version of success. And you know what's interesting, there is no mention of revenue goals.
But don't you worry, friend. I have my share of intense anxiety around what I think I should be making and all of that wrapped up in my own Money Story.
So with that, I aim to release my old version of success that was so inextricably linked to a number, and focus more on what other aspects of my everyday work life make for the dreamiest of arrangements. It's from this place of enoughness that I have an inkling will slowly start to loosen that grip I have so firmly clinging to what I can't control, and allow for a more abundant flow of goodness. It's from this place of honest gratitude that I intend to map out my next year according to the patterns I see arising after two years in biz. It's from this place of deep knowing and trusting that the Universe has my back that I will continue to create and expand.
Facing my Money Story head on is going to be an emotional roller coaster, but I look forward to the liberation waiting on the other side. This is the deep work I intend to do over the holidays. My inspiration and guidance for this journey is coming from Bari Tessler's The Art of Money.
How do you define success? In what areas of your life and/or biz do you feel need some tender reflection and releasing? And how can I support you as you do? Let me know in the comments below or feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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