Now that summer is approaching (big yeah!!) it’s time for ice-cream season. Ok, in full honesty it’s always ice-cream season in my house. But nothing is as good as going to one of those awesome ice-cream shops with tubs of the colorful cold stuff. I love watching my kids press their noses against the glass trying to decide between Moose Tracks and rainbow sherbet. I usually go with some low-fat yogurt number and then watch pining away as the kids slurp up their creaming drippings.
Honestly, I don’t even know why I pick the yogurt. I don’t really like it that much. I end up consuming empty calories without the satisfying pleasure that should accompany indulging. It’s kind of a waste. For all the bother, I’d rather have an apple. But in the moment of choice, I focus on what I should be doing so I pick a treat that really isn’t much of a treat and I go away feeling kind of gypped.
What’s worse is the whole time I’m slugging through my yogurt, I have to watch everyone else enjoying their choices. Sometimes it’s hard for the kids too. They may like what they got, but then they look over at their sisters and feel jealous. What if hers is better? What if she made a better choice?
Why all the focus cups and cones? We as business owners go through the same roller coaster of emotions when trying to nail down our brand identity. So many of us choose what we think we should choose. We build whole business models around what we think will work only to realize what we’ve created does nothing to feed our authentic sweet tooth of the soul. We walk around feeling empty, like something is off the mark. And the worse part is, we feel badly about feeling discontent. After all, we made the choice, why aren’t we happy?
The answer lies in fear.
I believe there is a knowing deep down inside each of us. Our hearts are calling to us. Our hearts know our true desire, but our cautious brains get in the way. So we end up choosing what’s safe and watch with envy as other entrepreneurs dive head first into their passions.
We make up all kinds of excuses why pursuing our calling will not work for us. We could never monetize our dream. Artists can’t be financially successful. Or, we’ve already invested a lot of time and money in creating what we have now. It would be a waste not to keep going.
What’s truly a waste is keeping your unique gifts locked away where they serve no-one. We make so many assumptions about what other people will value. Sometimes those assumptions err on the side of making products and programs our audience does not want or need. But other times, we assume there is no market for our passion.
While it’s true, there are thousands of entrepreneurs who remain broke because they don’t know how to properly monetize their talents, it’s also true you absolutely can make money doing something you love. It doesn’t mean it won’t be hard work, but it is possible.
As a brand strategist, I have seen over and over again how when an entrepreneur finally succumbs to what’s been calling them, their business starts to take off. They are finally clear and in alignment with their deepest desires. It’s then they start coming up with innovative products that sell like hot cakes. It’s then ideal clients start tripping over themselves to enroll in their programs. And then when they are finally approached about great speaking opportunities. It’s really amazing what happens when you say yes to yourself.
Conversely, those who do not step fully into their dreams often stay stagnant in their business. They work really, really hard and never see the kinds of results they hoped for and don’t experience the kind of joy and excitement they anticipated from having their own business in the first place.
Fear is a mean little bugger. It keeps our judgement clouded and our passions stifled. Fear often shows up as “what if.” What if I try and I fail? What if no one responds to me? What if I make a fool of myself? How about we kick old worry to the curb and change “what if” to “why not?” Why not give yourself a real shot at making money from the core of who you are?
The minutes and hours will pass by either way, you may as well spend them doing what you love. And you know what, when you do, you’re audience will love you right back.
Your feedback is music to my ears!
If you had all the money and time in the world, what kind of business would you create?
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If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.