In my professional career I have encountered a few schools of thought on what it takes to be successful and achieve.
Predominantly it has fallen into two camps.
The make it happen camp.
Allow, attract, let it unfold and magically manifest camp.
As a recovering hyper-fueled, Type-A, nothing is ever good enough unless I have over-achieved person, I spend the first several decades of my life solidly in the make it happen camp. To the point of self-abuse, hollow feeling achievements, and the detriment of relationships.
I was pretty darn skeptical of that second camp which demanded more faith, trust, and willingness to embrace the unknown.
But for a while, I dove into that pool with reckless abandon, throwing caution to the wind and waiting for all those fabulous things I deserved and was worthy of to magically appear.
Needless to say that phase came with its own set of frustrations: disappointment, lost opportunities (because I was waiting for them to come to me), and diminishing financial reserves.
So which camp holds the elusive, magical, mystical answer to attracting clients, building wealth, and meaningful achievement?
As I have marched along the path of self-employment, studied the patterns of successful people in many disciplines, and pondered the mysteries of the universe, I have drawn my own conclusions of what really works. And that is…
If you are willing to dance with the energy and demands of making it happen and allowing it to happen good things happen.
Like a marriage of seemingly opposites that fuse into a thing of beauty, dancing with both these partners will empower you to create results that are both magical and reliable at the same time.
[clickToTweet tweet=”#Smallbiz success: Should you make it happen or allow it to happen?” quote=”#Smallbiz success: Should you make it happen or allow it to happen?”]
How to Create Meaningful Results
The dance looks like this. You take consistent action day after day. You reach out and initiate opportunities (rather than waiting for them to come to you). You work diligently and grind out tasks that other, less successful people are unwilling to do.
Then… you balance this with:
Waiting, trusting, and allowing… and Cultivating the mindset, habits, and personal foundation that are necessary to create the conditions for good things to happen.
Some might say this allows the space for the Universe to conspire in your favor. Call it what you will, but there are definitely powers beyond our control that do impact what transpires and comes to be.
A good example of this dance between action and allowing is recovering from an injury in physical therapy.
The physical therapist gives you exercises to do. You do them. (aka You take action, “making it happen”.)
Then there’s the factor of time (rest days, time elapsed) and the unknown (how your body will respond) that comes into play with the extent and timing of your recovery. (aka You allow things to unfold.)
One without the other doesn’t work. There are endless stories of people not doing the exercises, and then not recovering fully (Been there! Just ask my right wrist.). And conversely overachievers who do the exercises and try to push recovery too fast only to get slapped back to reality with re-injury (Been there too!)
These same principles hold true in your business. You must:
- Submit those RFP’s for speaking
- Generate leads
- Conduct sales calls
- Produce content
- Market your services
- Connect with new people
- And a million other actions…
But if you only take action without stepping back and allowing… you will
- Burn out
- Annoy people (as you become one of those icky, inappropriate, always in your face type people)
- Squelch your creativity and ability to produce (you are not a machine)
- Attract all kinds of less than ideal wacky clients because you lack discernment that comes with cultivating the right internal environment – body, mind, heart & soul.
But It Feels Weird, Scary, or Uncomfortable
Perhaps your mind is freaking out because you are a “make it happen” type and cannot imagine taking your foot off the gas for one split second. After all if you’re not plugging away, what then? (Cue the big scary fear monsters)
Or maybe you are a “let it manifest” type and resist creating plans and taking actions that are often tedious and boring because you believe it demonstrates a lack of trust. (Cue the myth that attraction doesn’t involve solid, grounded action)
Here’s the truth – no matter your natural style of approaching things, you will feel uncomfortable. Whenever you dance with what you can control (taking action) and embrace what you cannot control (what happens) you will feel uncomfortable and fear will make an appearance. This feeling won’t kill you.
It’s normal…you’re not alone…
Now for Practical Action
You might wonder, “How do I get started with this dance?”
Well, you start right where you are.
Pick 3 actions you can take toward a particular goal. Then take them.
When finished, give yourself permission to step away from the doing and allow things to unfold. Take a walk. Leave work early. Take a deep breath. Give yourself permission to resign as general manager of the universe who has to control all things (which you do know is an illusion, right?) and just BE for a bit.
Notice what shifts –
- How does your productivity shift?
- What results/opportunities magically show up? (hint: they may or may not be directly related to the actions you took.)
- Most importantly how do you feel? Are you enjoying the journey more? Having more fun? Feeling less pressure?
I know for me personally (and for so many of my clients), leaning into this dance has made all the difference. It has resulted in exciting new opportunities, best-year-ever financial results, and an overall sense of peace with how to run and grow a business. It has taken away the mystery of “I don’t know what to do?!” and removed guilt from the equation when it comes to taking time off and creating space.
Want to integrate these two powerful pieces into a way of working that actually…works? Contact me and let’s have a conversation.