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Advice for the Budding Entrepreneur

Passion-preneur Neil Lewis shares his two silver bullets to professional - and personal - success!

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Now, I know I’m not on my own here – there’s so many different people out there with advice for entrepreneurs. But I’m in a reflective mood. My coaching practice turns 1 today, and this last 12 months has been a year of such opportunity and prosperity for me. I know that this hasn’t been the case for everyone, so I stay humble and grateful every day. But being a reflective person, I’ve sat and considered HOW this year has been so prosperous for me.

I’ve never considered myself an entrepreneur. If I can coin a couple of new words, I’d rather see myself as a passion-preneur or purpose-preneur. For me, success is a proxy. What’s more important is that I’m happy every day and spend as much of my time in a joyful space as I can. I also firmly believe that if I align to joy, proxy success will follow, and it absolutely has. But success isn’t my driver, happiness is.

And I tell you, being a passion-preneur is bloody busy!!! I run my own learning and coaching practice, plus I have a small well-being practice on the side. I’m a trustee of a national charity, and on the steering group of two other community interest companies. I’m an associate with two incredible businesses, a third in the pipeline, and part of two referral networking teams. And I’m just about to start volunteering as a coach/facilitator for a peer support group. As much as I’m busy, every single one of these roles brings me such joy. And that’s before I’ve even considered my most important roles and the ones that bring me the most joy – husband, family member and friend.

I’ve meditated and sought inner guidance constantly throughout this last 12 months, so sharing everything I’ve learned would just be impossible in one article. So, after having a great chat with a peer this morning, I want to share the two pieces of advice that have absolutely made my life this past year.

  1. Everything is happening around me, and I am truly taken care of

As someone who has always had a strong work ethic, giving myself permission to work 3 days a week, 9 months of the year has been a hard condition to break. I’ve always thought that if you’re not giving blood, sweat, tears and 60 hours a week, you don’t deserve success. What an awful condition to be in.

I’ve also never believed myself entitled to anything – even happiness, which frankly, we’re all entitled to. So this has been another condition to break. And there have been times over the last 12 months when I’ve been staring at empty calendar pages, thinking “how am I going to fill these? Where will this work come from?”

This can throw me into a spate of ‘manic manifesting’ – pushing and pulling all over the place to come up with the next big idea, the next money-spinner… all the while, losing all faith in what I actually want to do. Manic manifestation comes about when we feel that what we’re doing isn’t good enough or working. It’s a fear space, and being in a fearful space energetically is negative and low-vibe. How can anyone create their best work from this space? How can anyone expect to live their best life from this space? I have come up with ideas in this space, but they have usually been things that I CAN do to plug the gap, and not necessarily things I WANT to do. At this point I’m getting involved in things that aren’t aligned to my purpose which sends a very confusing message to people – and the universe – about what I do.

“So he makes butter now? I thought he was a coach?”

The key for me has been to notice when I’ve gone to this space and call on a very simple mantra – everything is happening around me and I am truly taken care of. This shifts my perspective from fear to faith. Energetically, this is positive and high-vibe. What comes from this space is inspired action – creative, passionate, and aligned to my purpose and goals. All I have to do is show up with authenticity and be the best version of myself and the rest will come. This has absolutely happened for me, and here’s an example.

In mid-January of this year, I had no work booked in for February. I started to descend into a spiral of manic manifesting – furiously writing social media marketing plans, desperately trying to think of 365 daily memes and – would you believe it – writing recipes for butter. I was in a complete state of panic, and as such had completely withdrawn from any social media presence, stopped networking, stopped writing, all because I “didn’t have time for that – I have a business to save!” Little did I know that my manic panic had made me completely absent from my business, my network and thrown me into a space of underdeveloped, misaligned creativity.

I was planning to make butter?!?!

And then it hit me. My faith was gone. Fear had taken over. Manic manifestation abounded. And nothing was working. I took it to the mat, and I called on my old friend – a mantra that I learned several years ago from one of my gurus, Gabby Bernstein.

Everything is happening around me and I am truly taken care of.”

95% of what I had done in the previous 8 months had been inspired action, from a space of faith and joy. And it’s all out there! Working for me, attracting towards me that which is rightfully mine and that I can make the most difference to through service. So if I want to know what to do now, I need to realign to faith and allow my action to be inspired. I need to let go and trust.

Within a few hours I had opened my mind to the potential gift being given to me. If my calendar was empty in February, what could the universe be clearing space for me to do? Develop myself? Write some more of my book? Have a rest? I firmly believe that the universe wants me to succeed, so if it’s clearing February for me, there must be a good reason.

Not only did I accept the gift – I planned a few days off with my husband, I scheduled some time to work on my book and I signed up for my Masters in Coaching and Mentoring (which was fully funded so cost me nothing – winner winner!) – but once I’d realigned to faith and high-vibes, a remarkable thing happened.

Some work came in!

You see, once I’d gotten out of my own way and re-aligned myself to my purpose and my faith, I went back to putting out high-vibes. Inspired action came, barriers fell, and things started to shift. February whizzed by – I had a break, invested in myself AND earned some money. What could have been a tough month turned out to be a great one. In fact, I’d be happy if every month was like that!

This mantra re-aligns me. It moves me out of negative, low-vibe, manic manifesting energy and into positive, high-vibe, inspired action energy. We cannot create from fear. We cannot be true to ourselves and our purpose from fear. Fear makes us compromise. Fear makes us mistrust our own intentions and our own desires. Fear draws towards us that which we don’t want.

Now please understand me – action is still imperative. I was talking about this topic with someone a few months ago and their take was that all they have to do is believe, sit back and wait. This is not the case – action is still required. But what comes from a space of faith is inspired action – action that is driven from passion and enthusiasm. Action that brings you joy. And because that action is so high-vibrational, it’s chances of success are far greater. Action from a space of fear is ‘distraction action’ – it might fill your time, but it probably won’t be the best use of it. Action from a place of faith is ‘attraction action’ – it’s the stuff that stays true to who you are and what you want, and the action that conveys passion, energy, expertise and conviction. That action attracts. And I’ve experienced this firsthand many, many times.

2. Hold your nerve

This piece of advice was given to me by a peer last year – someone who has run their own practice for 11 years and has been through all the highs and lows but always thrived. For me this is about belief. Belief in myself and belief in what I’m doing. When we wobble, we are questioning our intentions and mis-trusting things around us. Again, this is low-vibrational, and sends a very mixed message. Holding your nerve is about staying aligned and staying true, and not allowing anything to question what you believe or what you desire. It’s standing firm – roots planted, unwavering, full of faith. The mighty oak holds its nerve against the wind. It bends and it moves, but it always stays firmly rooted. To me, that’s what being a passion-preneur is all about. Staying true to what you believe, what you desire and having unwavering faith.

*****

So as a general rule, I hold my nerve. And if things get tough, I remind myself that everything is happening around me and I am truly taken care of. These two powerful, high-vibe choices are the key to my resilience and survival, but most importantly, they are the two key ingredients to living a happy and purposeful life.

Success is just a very welcome side effect.

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