I’m a career and sales coach. I’m an entrepreneur and run my business as a sole practitioner.
I’m an extrovert (“really strong” on the extroversion scale). My first year in business, I worked in coffee shops often. I also had a semi-private office that a friend of mine shared with me. He let me squat in his space for a year. I paid him a fraction of what rent would have cost me anywhere else. (One tenth of what I pay now – “R2”, I’ll always be grateful). But I’m not sharing a lesson in creative bootstrapping. I’m shedding insight into an unintentional “hell” I had created for myself.
I couldn’t figure out where all my energy, spirit, and creativity had disappeared to. Getting the business off the ground felt a little like stepping out of a hot shower without a towel. Cold and uncomfortable. To me, it felt like I was staring into an abyss or a black hole that served the singular purpose of zapping my energy. I began feeling isolated; cut off from the world.
The isolation fueled feelings of shame, which opened the door to negativity and self doubt. My internal soundtrack was doubted the strength of my business plan, my ability to execute, my credibility, and whether I had the grit and resilience to run a successful business. I felt uninspired, unmotivated, motionless. Stuck.
What the hell does a coach do when he himself gets stuck? I’m an expert in that (for my clients).
I course corrected. I needed space to meet the functional needs of my business and I needed an “ecosystem” surrounded by others. I took on a 2 year lease in a shared office space with 3-4 other small companies. I recognized the root cause of my problem and sought to make a change that corrected it. I took on some risk and expense, but gained some key benefits in exchange. I have people around me now….friends. Other professionals to share ideas with, related to, and get feedback from.
My energy, creativity and motivation began improving immediately and business opportunities started popping. The change in my physical environment injected feedback mechanisms and energy builders (people) into my day surroundings. I surrounded myself with people who could hold me accountable and motivate me to work harder. This results are positive – less resistance, more energy, more opportunity, more success, and less stress.
What core aspect of your personality or nature are you resisting? Do you schedule exercise at a suboptimal time? Are you a morning person but staying up too late at night? Do you struggle with managing stress but insist on keeping a stressful schedule?
What patterns do you notice?
Ask people you trust if they notice those things too.
Figure out what’s behind the pattern and what a change to that pattern might mean for you. Then make an active choice to change the behavior or accept the behavior without judgement. Either way, be empowered. Be mindful. Continue growing.
Eli Howayeck (MBA, Kellogg School of Management), Founder and CEO of Crafted Career Concepts, is passionate about helping motivated people achieve their career, educational, or personal goals and helping businesses, large and small, overcome a variety of challenges facing their business.