The day I realized I had an unhealthy relationship with my business was HUGE.
I’m a therapist and relationship coach, and I was working with a struggling couple. He was judgy and sought to dominate most conversations and interactions.
She was a self-described “door-mat,” working overtime to avoid his outbursts and looks of disapproval.
I was preparing to meet with her in an individual session, and I caught myself being judgmental of HER.
Why was she tolerating the most atrocious offenses?
Why couldn’t she just draw a boundary with him?
One key to being a really great therapist — and human being — is to realize that all the judgments you have for others are really judgments you have for yourself in disguise.
Those judgments are really whispering loudly, “PSSSST!!! This is where YOU need to grow!!”
So, once I realized I was judging this woman, I did what I most always do… I asked myself, “OK, what are you judging her for?” and then “So, where are YOU doing that?”
I realized I was judging her for allowing him to bully her. And for tolerating so much in her life. For priding herself for putting herself last. For not seeing her own value. For giving him all her power.
SURELY I wasn’t doing THIS anywhere in my life!
I would NEVER let my husband, mother, mother-in-law, or anyone else treat me this way. I’ve worked through all THAT stuff. I know my worth and value. I am in tune with how I feel in every interaction. Hey, I’ve even gotten REALLY great at getting clear about my wants and needs and how to express them. I can draw boundaries swiftly and firmly in a way that felt good…..
I’m MY BUSINESS’s victim. MY business was my bully.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn’t stepping into my business with clarity and confidence. I was being hurriedly dragged from one task to the next throughout my day.
It said JUMP. I said How high?
I didn’t tell my tasks where to go in my calendar. I let my tasks berate me throughout the day and week for having yet to be completed.
I didn’t schedule call times with my new clients. I let calls drag me from my schedule whenever they happened. And THEN, if I wasn’t draggable, we would play phone tag! Yippee!
I was working ALL sorts of CRAZY hours; returning emails and invoicing sometimes after 9pm!
I wasn’t seeing my most VALUABLE skills and the most valuable ways I spend my time.
When you’re a solopreneur, you’re the BOSS and the EMPLOYEE. If I had truly had an employee and worked and berated them like this I would have SURELY been violating more than a few labor laws.
But I let the abuse happen. Because becoming your business’s victim happens slowly…and it’s so sneaky…and it was all in me.
My business was running me…. I wasn’t running my business.
So, little by little, I chose to stop being the victim.
- I set up scheduling systems that totally took me, and my energy, out of the process of scheduling new client calls and current client appointments.
- I started handing off my phone to my husband in the evenings so it couldn’t bully me into working strange hours.
- I hired a virtual assistant, and then a non-virtual assistant to free up my time and energy for the work I do that’s most valuable.
- I joined a group personal training gym for accountability and support to LEAVE MY FREAKING COMPUTER on a regular basis.
- I started consciously infusing my schedule with PURE FUN weekly.
And now I’m seeing the results of owning my value in my new and improved, more healthy relationship with my business: My list has more than doubled, I’ve developed and delivered courses live and online (things I once didn’t have time for), and I was recently paid more for an hour’s work than I have ever made in an hour IN MY LIFE.
And because I’m more focused on delivering my genius work to the masses… (this is the part where I get teary) the notes of gratitude and testimonials from clients and followers is at an all time high.
The more I serve and honor me, the more people I can serve. I knew that already, but my relationship with my business has helped me know it in a whole new way.
So let me ask you… do YOU have a healthy relationship with your business? Or do you let your business run you?
Originally published at medium.com