How To Go Inward But Keep Your Eyes Open In Business
Summary: There are so many relationships that make for a successful business, but as business owners, we can get think that the relationships with our clients, colleagues, and employees are the only ones that matter. Today, we'll talk about maintaining the most important relationship in your small business is so important.
You may know we’re a baseball family. Baseball can shed wisdom on the rest of your life if you look at it. The parallels between life and sports to success, perseverance, progress, and integrity are just so clearly drawn. Many inspirational business lessons also originate in sports, as today’s article does.
My husband is coaching our son’s baseball team this season. After getting home one evening, I noticed he was lingering in his car, so I went to sit with him while he finished his phone call. He was talking to Uncle Craig, who was sharing some coaching insight. I felt like this was a gem of a baseball story which I want to share because it has direct implications for entrepreneurs. I’ll try to do it justice.
Uncle Craig told a story to us about his son, who had a killer swing but could never seem to hit the ball. A stellar shortstop, nothing ever got past him. He could snag a ball and throw it exactly to his intended target, but when it came time to bat, it was another story completely. His son couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, and he was frustrated by the inconsistency from one side of the plate to the other.
Uncle Craig finally saw the crux of the problem as a result of a photo he took while his son was at bat. The picture captured it all. His son had the perfect stance, great stats, and great concentration. When the picture was taken, at the moment the shutter opened, it caught the reason. During the swing, the ball was not even close to the bat, and the picture caught it all.Although he swung with all his might, his eyes were closed!
Great story, right? You might be able to draw a conclusion already about how you can apply that to your business. But I want to share something else.
Now, my husband doesn’t keep close tabs on what I do for work. He occasionally watches some of my videos, and we chat about work a little. However, I feel like this was a moment of clarity. This was the moment that he truly caught what I do for a living.
He said, “Dear, that's what you do, isn't it? What you do is you see the fact that somebody is trying to hit the ball, and their eyes are closed when they're doing all the right things. You just fix what's off.”
I looked at him, and I was like, “Yeah, that's pretty much what I do.”
By the way, this came from our conversation about talking with spouses. If you can’t seem to connect with your spouse about what you do, take heart and keep pushing the conversation forward. If you missed it, you can read it here.
Now, as glorious as that sounds 一 a spouse who GETS IT — one that "gets" what you do in business, There is another person you really need to connect with before anyone else.
The most important relationship you need to go inward but keep your eyes open in business:
A relationship with yourself!
The most important relationship you need to have in business is a relationship with yourself.
The connection I’m talking about it the one between you… the player, the entrepreneur, the boss babe, or however you think of yourself... and your inner self.
Nurturing this business relationship is as important as connecting with the ball if you’re up at bat, and while it’s not as do-or-die, in-the-moment connectivity you are after, trust me, this connection drives the entire game forward.
That connection is the one relationship you cannot afford to disregard. Ever.
I understand how easy it is to get sidetracked, though.
The other day, in fact, I had one of those over-the-top, stressful days. I was worn out by the end of that day and knew I needed to do something this morning to counterbalance all the stress piling up.
I took time for a little meditation. I talked to God, prayed a little bit, and grounded myself. I had to really think back to what my sole purpose is and what I am trying to do in my business and in my life, and as a human being on earth.
The themes that kept coming up for me were ideas around foresight, wisdom, courage, and strength. So for me, it related right back to what my husband was saying to me.
Sometimes you need to step away from the plate and examine the photograph for clues to what’s really going on.
Busy-ness does not make a good business.
The world is telling you to do more, especially if you want to grow.
The truth is that what really works is counterintuitive to that message.
Achievable success in business means you have something left over at the end of the day for yourself, your family, and whatever it is that nurtures your soul.
It’s not about doing more and adding more. That’s a trap from which you’ll never emerge.
Time management experts will give you every trick in the book for organizing your life to squeeze more “quality time” into your schedule. Buyer beware!
If you really hear me when I tell you "You’re crazy to be in business," then you’re definitely in my tribe. I get that brand of "crazy" and I totally understand that "crazy." My business is coaching that type of “crazy”. I love the go-getters who see all the problems that need solving in this world.
And yet, the magic happens when you go inward and heal from the "crazy." Growth happens when you are present in those in-between moments of space.
With space comes grace, too.
I don’t think I’ve met an entrepreneur who doesn’t take failure personally. So often, something about your business is failing, or you’re carrying around a hurt in your business or personal life that is casting a shadow on your bliss.
If you’re going to be this courageous, if you’re going to be exceptional, if you’re going to be successful and produce a legacy for yourself and your family, then you have to spend a little time with yourself.
When growing your business, be prepared to go deep into the mental game.
I mentioned the meditation that allowed me to get closer to the source of inspiration in my business life. Taking time to go inward might not look like meditation for you, though. Some gals feed their brain through prayer, working out, journaling, or another, more kinetic kind of “leveling up” for your mind.
Giving your business mind a rest is the best way to enjoy growth that matters. Working on the inner YOU fuels your passion fire over the long term. Frequent pitstops into your inner mind keeps you supple, flexible, creative, and healthy.
Your life will evolve and change over the years. My wish for you is that you are able to enjoy the real YOU as she emerges. She will also inform your business, so this is important work!
Three Takeaways to Keep Your Eyes Open In Business:
1. Mastermind with people who can share lots of practical, tactical, brass nuts tools you can work on and implement.
No superhero can do this alone.
Maybe you have a supportive and perceptive spouse. That’s a gift.
Maybe you can call on a friend who always helps you break down a hairy problem. Thank your lucky stars.
But a lot of business owners gain valuable insights through sharing with other objective owners in a supportive business setting.
Masterminds are great for receiving gritty, helpful feedback.
Chances are it’s not everyone’s first time tackling a situation you’re dealing with.
2. Have someone “take a picture” of what you’re doing so you can see for yourself where you can improve.
If you asked the boy in the photograph if he thought he was watching the ball, he’d probably say, “Of course.”
But, if you show him the picture of him closing his eyes at the intended moment of contact, he’ll get valuable proof of his error.
What you can’t see from the inside is perfectly clear to an astute observer.
3. Be prepared to turn inward to really see what is important to you.
Instead of closing your eyes to the ball, close your eyes to the rest of the world.
Use meditation or some other form of reflection to open your soul’s eyes to your mission.
In the midst of all this work on your business, it would be a shame to miss the bigger picture of your best self emerging among all the details.
Enjoy that relationship now. Don’t wait.
All of those things will help you get outside your business persona and more in touch with the real you.
Remember that a relationship with yourself is your most important business relationship.
This is the "you" that others see and the "you" that is quietly developing and steering the ship from the inside.
This will be the space where you come up with your great ideas and solve great problems. This is where you understand how to communicate something that maybe you didn't communicate as well the previous day. This is the space where you run your business.
So that's how you can go inward but still keep your eyes open in business.
What are your practices like? How do you spend time with yourself? What are your practices that allow you to have processing time to have downtime or regeneration time? How do you have time to heal? What are those processes that you do? Let me know because I think it's interesting when we share this information.
If you found inspiration or motivation, or heard something here that was just a comment that you think others need to hear for their business, please share that. I hope you have a profitable rest of your week.
Do you need help focusing on your relationship with yourself in your business? Find time on my schedule, and let's chat!
If you enjoyed this article, check out 4 Steps To Become A Successful Business Leader.