I’m taking an online class called The Wishing Experience with Andrea Lewicki. One of our first assignments was to spend five minutes writing down all of the wishes we’d like a genie to grant us. Sort of like an extended birthday cake wishing session.
Looking at my wishing list was a bittersweet experience.
Because The Wishing Experience is about being curious about ourselves I started thinking about the “why” behind my bittersweet feeling. Why, when all that I’d wished for is well within my grasp, did my wishing list make me both happy and sad?
When I was little and wished out loud for something my Dad would say: “Wish in one hand and sh*t in the other and see which fills up first.”
Which I’m realizing now I carved into my brain as the limiting belief that “wishes are stupid.” But now what I really think Dad was getting at is that wishes require action to have a chance of coming true. Wishes grow and flourish and live in the sweet spots that we create for them.
Crafting Sweeter Sweet Spots
We all started our businesses for our own reasons. Money is a primary motivator, of course, but there’s so much more to it than that.
We have skills. Skills that can help other people. When our skills meet up with another’s pain or wants there’s a special connection, a sweet spot where skills and money are happily exchanged.
But beyond that, beyond the “why we do what we do for our clients and customers” … for many of us there are deeper, precious, personal reasons why we started our own businesses.
In the rush to build our businesses and learn social media and launch products it is easy to forget what we were wishing for from our entrepreneurial journey in the first place. It’s easy to lose track of our own dreams.
These dreams are so important to our life and to creating a business that serves us. When we can choose to align our dreams with what we do well and someone else’s dreams we can create an even sweeter sweet spot.
To get to that sweet spot we have to keep reminding ourselves of those deeper personal reasons behind launching our own businesses.
I started my own business to share my skills with the world (I help women build beautiful online businesses). Because there is a need for my set of skills there’s a really sweet spot where I can do what I love and help other women build their dream businesses and get paid well to do so.
There’s also a place where I get to do what I love and get paid well AND have a business that supports my bigger life goals. For me this means building a business that honors the level of flexibility I need. A flexible workload and consistent income stream so I can manage a chronic illness, have time to devote to writing fiction and be able to spend quality time with my parents, children and hubby.
After my wishing session I felt bittersweet because I realized I’ve been spending a lot of time circling around this sweeter sweet spot. I keep telling myself that the sweeter sweet spot isn’t always possible, that I should be happy when two of the three requirements align. That flexibility isn’t that important.
In fact, I told myself that some of my deeper wishes are downright selfish.
How selfish is it to think we could take our kids and travel around the world? How selfish is it to want to write fiction every day? What will the neighbors think? What will my parents think?
We hold up the dreamers, the doers, we applaud their adventurous lives, but we don’t allow ourselves to move into that sweeter sweet spot for ourselves. We stand in our own way. We don’t believe in the magic of a wish or in our ability to look at those bigger life goals and make choices that pull us into alignment.
In retrospect we can always see where we could do better. I’m the person who chose to spend 10 more minutes on Facebook instead of 10 minutes writing fiction. I decided to watch another webinar while snacking at my desk instead of stopping to take a walk and enjoy my lunch.
When I’m making those kinds of choices, which take me farther away from where I really want to be, I’m ignoring those deeper reasons why I went into business in the first place.
When we don’t honor our whys we find ourselves veering off track and wishing, wishing, wishing for a genie to make it all better, when the power is right there with us.
So what can we do to keep ourselves on track? I made myself a little cheat sheet that I keep by my computer. It’s a list of those deeper wishes, those deeper personal whys behind my entrepreneurial journey. When it comes time to decide if I’ll take on another project or spend another 10 minutes on Facebook, I’m training myself to stop, look at my list and see if what I’m contemplating matches with where I want to go.
I know I’m going to continue to make decisions that sometimes leave me feeling bittersweet. I’m human. I know that I’ll keep circling around that sweeter sweet spot. But I also know that many times I’ll be living right there, I just have to stop and smell the roses.
What are you wishing for in your life?
Do you want to be working from a cafe in Paris this time next year? Do you want to spend afternoons hanging with your kids at the park? Do you want an art studio in your basement so you can sneak down and paint in every free moment? Do you want to buy a yacht and head out on a round the world adventure?