Danielle LaPorte…you know her. Chances are pretty high you found me through her. She’s my Oprah. One tweet, one link, one wink of praise and not only does it rain…it’s a love flood.
I rarely check my e-mail first thing in the morning. It’s not good for my soul or my mind or my practice or my son. I give myself a few hours of suspended time, time that is mine, is ours…between me n’ the Muse, the Holy Spirit and the Biggest Heart. But for some weird reason…this morning there was that oh so familiar slide of the thumb across that phone and I was all…
…whoa….what’s going on? Oooohhhhhh….I see what’s going.
In another incredibly useful post by Danielle, there I am. Thank you Danielle…a deep bow to you. On the one hand, this woman has made my career. On the other hand…I’ve worked my ass off for it and I’ve earned what I’ve got.
We all stand on the shoulders of giants. The shoulders of our ancestors, our revolutionaries, our greatest supporters, thinkers, mavens, leaders, teachers—in our culture, we live in a great illusion that we are individuals...that we’re going it alone, that we must go it alone, that needing others is somehow weak or unacceptable. But we’re part of such a deeply interconnected web, we simply can’t get anywhere without each other, get anything done or survive at all. We’ve all heard the adage It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Well goodness, that’s certainly true. And yet…maybe it’s about something a little bit more. I would add…it’s about who you are and what you offer.
I work with a lot of entrepreneurs and yet I’m not an entrepreneurial coach. While in my past life I strolled down the hallways of business coaching and consulting, it’s just now where the juice is for me. I want the human. I want in to the human. I want to work so deeply with the human that the business stuff works itself out without me. But the dilemma of what to focus on and how to build our businesses is a real one. As my own career is on fire, my own work moving all over the place, both in my writing and my expanding clientele, I can see all the places in which my energy and attention could go and arguable should go.
In this digital world our opportunities are vast– particularly if you begin to plug into a network of incredible humans who are rocking their lives, the lives of others and this system and are generous enough to lift you up. But the demands for our energy and attention are also vast. Over and over and over clients and friends and colleagues get overwhelmed with where to put their attention, how to build their audience, how to get their work out there. I get overwhelmed too…until I remember…Do My Work.
I suck at Twitter. One day I won’t. I used to suck at Facebook but I’m starting to sort it out. I used to get stressed about this, as though if I don’t get going, like yesterday, opportunities will pass me by. We all know social media will get you there. But where’s there?
It could be argued that, so far, I don’t need to flex the social media/promo muscles because I have the likes of Danielle and Kate Northrup (and many other of you generous souls) talking about me. I am lucky. I am blessed. I bow down with humble gratitude. I got my break and it just keeps breaking. But here’s the thing, I deliver. When I get all in a tizzy about what I should be putting my energy on…I come back to my clients and I come back to the page.
My attention is not on the results I’m getting and how I can squeeze every penny out of what I do. I’d argue that while it’s important to get paid, for those who are rockin’ it…that’s not what comes first. Doing the work is what comes first. Knowing who you are and what you’ve got and offering it out is what comes first.
I have coached countless people for free. When I was building my clientele, I’d coach whoever wanted and needed it and was available for it. I still take pro-bono clients, though I’m currently booked for those programs. I run this online magazine with a collective. I write, I edit, I work with emerging writers helping them craft their work and get their ideas out there. I don’t get paid for any of that. yet.
Everything I do I would if I never got a penny.
But I’ve got some pennies now. And it’s only the beginning. My systems will only improve, my ways of managing and growing my business, I will continue to refine. But if I start putting my writing on the back-burner— or my time, attention and commitment to my clients starts to wane, I’ve lost the plot. My mind will tell me that I really should be tweeting more or have prettier documents to send my clients (not just a basic word doc!) or should Vlog or really get a better admin system, or maybe an assistant, really leverage all that is out there. And all that is true. My mind can spin out on all the things that I really should be doing that I’m not doing. There will always be more to do.
But we can only do what we can do and we can’t do it all…
So what’s the most important thing? The rest is there, in the vision, in the future, on the action lists and dream sheets…but I cannot and will not allow those to impact the most important aspects of my work. This is what’s earned me my place. This is why such respected people give me props. So when the people show up…I’m ready…when the people show up…I deliver.
What’s most important? What do you need to be ready? It may not be what you think. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it needs to be an offering. What are you offering?