This week I’d like to out one of the deep dark obstacles that might be sabotaging you as you learn to manage and master the 5 Laws we talked about last week. This ugly little set of beliefs and behaviors has certainly been a constant presence for me as I’ve grown as an entrepreneur – and even years after discovering this strategy for the first time and beginning to apply it in my life and business, it still feels like glorious revelation each time I allow myself to use it.
This year, as I’m growing three businesses in two countries…
looking towards the daunting transformation parenthood will require in a couple short months, and specifically keeping my eye on the patterns that have been the most destructive in the past… I have chosen my word for the year to be: Ease.
It seems a funny goal when in the past my primary focus has been about growth…
Action, doing, results and go go go do do do – but I’m finally, more than 15 years in, starting to acknowledge that there might be a better way than ‘forcing it’ all the time. I’m starting to ask myself, does it need to be so hard? (and believe me I know how difficult it can be to even allow ourselves to ASK the QUESTION) Lots to share about this conversation our evolution from hard to easy in this episode, so let’s get started and make some magic, shall we?
What Would Be Easy?
So often as business owners we seem to gravitate towards the hard thing. We over complicate, we add layers, we go 10 steps when 4 will do. Many of us are somewhat obsessively driven to bring perfect things into the world, to tell the WHOLE story (heaven forbid we leave out a single detail) and to give EVERYTHING we’ve got into EVERY endeavor.
Some of this is honorable – we want to exceed the expectations of our customers, we want our products and services to help and deliver the promised results and we are deeply committed to producing high-quality everything…. But SOME of this is also quite destructive. Perfectionism, and obsessively serving, are typically symptoms of fear, not indicators of success.
Most of this stuff comes down to the simple fear
Fear of what other people will think and say about us. We want to be loved, liked and accepted. We seek to fill in our wells of insecurity – the depths of our ‘not enoughness’ with praise, recognition and public proof of our greatness … because THEN we can prove to ourselves (and everyone else) that we truly are worthy of happiness and love.
Whew, I know that’s deep. But I’d be willing to be there is at least an echo of truth in it for everyone listening… there CERTAINLY is for me.
It’s not just the ‘eager to please’ bit
That’s turning the wheels and driving much of your decision making… there is also another little belief that’s on board for many of us… that is constantly throwing little spanners in the works at every chance, and that is the belief that things must be difficult to count. Money must be hard to earn, work must be difficult to matter, and certainly the path to achieving want we want, must be fraught with chaos and challenges.
Most of us are ACTUALLY making every step of our journey harder on purpose
Because that’s how we will EARN and DESERVE the happiness at the end. We have to work hard for it to count.
Now I’m certainly not a psychologist or a counsellor – I don’t pretend to have all the answers or the explanations to the ‘why’s and ‘hows’ of this whole ‘limiting beliefs’ and self-staboge thing- but I am an entrepreneur who knows it well. In addition to just shining a light on this little gremlin today, to call it out and say ‘hey, we see you’ (which is definitely tthe first step in easing its grip on us) I wanted to share one little strategy to help combat both the over-performing impulse AND the ‘it has to be hard’ belief in one fell swoop. It is a simple mantra in the form of a question, and I ask it to myself, on average 17 times a day… and it is:
What Would Be Easy?
What would be easy? It’s so simple it’s almost laughable. What is also a little hilarious is that I feel like most days we’re ACTUALLY subconciously asking ourselves, ‘what would be hard’ and doing that instead!
What would be easy?
These four words, when asked by you or someone else, are like a glorious gift of permission… Permission, and in fact almost a command, to look towards the easy side of the street (where most of us never ever allow ourselves to wander).
What would be easy?
There are so many applications of how this mantra can help simplify your marketing, planning, money-making, communication, productivity, product delivery – unlimited potential to apply it in your life and business. Let’s have a look at a few of them, just for fun…
You’re planning a promotion and freaking out about how to build it, launch it, price it, advertise it, and share it. You’re convinced the more complex it is, the more likely it is to be successful, right?
A simple moment of pause to ask ‘what would be easy’ can encourage you to eliminate half of the complicated stuff you have planned and double-down on the few things you know have worked in the past. It can lead you to focus on your areas of strength and expand upon those, instead of stretching yourself and your resources too thin. Likely, it will improve your results AND your sanity as you move into through the promotion.
You’re designing a new product or service and you mentioned to your audience in one email 6 months ago that you were going to sharing this new product on THIS date but the product/service isn’t done, you’re not ready and you feel like a total loser and you’re going to let your whole community down.
A simple breath to ask ‘what would be easy’ might lead to realize that no one ACTUALLY cares that much if this new thing is launched today or in 3 months, and all the pressure is coming from YOU not your audience… so you can simply move the date and finish the product to the standard you want. OR maybe you’ve over-complicated the product and you need to strip it back for it’s ‘beta’ release – and add more of the complicated bells and whistles later once you get some customer feedback.
Perhaps you have a freedom dream that includes packing up your home and critters and travelling around the country for 6 months just being creative and working from the road like a proper digital nomad. You’ve decided in order to do this you need to sell your home, have a million in the bank and have the perfect route mapped out in advance, in painstaking detail.
A moment to breathe and ask ‘what would be easy’ might lead you to recognize, you could actually save so much by not living at home you don’t need to have much savings at all in the bank, you can rent out your house and come back to it, and all you need on the road is solid internet a couple days a week and you’re good to go! Sure some planning will be required but maybe the dream isn’t as impossible as you’ve inflated it to feel?
In all these examples
You can see how the big ‘not enough’ monster grows and wreaks havoc on our senses and logic. When we BELIEVE things need to be hard and complicated, we create them that way.
One of the worst ways this is inhibiting us, is we present hard and complicated stuff to our clients. Our pricing structure, our service options, our websites and brochures, the more steeped are in this ‘complicated=better’ mentality the worst it is for making it EASY for our customers to say yes to us.
So, even if you struggle to grasp on to your own enoughness, and that fact (and I do mean FACT) that you deserve to be happy NOW, you don’t need to create obstacles to your satisfaction … ask yourself ‘what would be easy’ for the sake of the people you’re trying to serve. If you embrace a mantra of ‘what would be easy’ for yourself, you will naturally start to make it easier for people to understand your value, to buy from you, to recommend and refer you… and all the other little ways that you will build momentum and freedom through your business will become… you guessed it… EASIER.
Can you relate this this who cycle of making things more difficult than they need to be?
We’d love to know how this manifests in your life and business – hop on over to our private community of enchanted rebels and share!
That’s it for this episode of the Magic Maker podcast – welcome to the headquarters of entrepreneurs who want to do good, be real, find happy and build brands that matter.
We’re thrilled you’re here.
Next week we’re going to explore this idea of ‘what would be easy’ as it applies to your journey as an entrepreneur, from where you are now, to where you’d like to be in your version of ‘success’ – we’re going to look at one simple strategy to make achieving those big big goals easier – make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss it.
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