Honesty was on my mind a few weeks ago. It stuck with me. Turning it back on myself I realize there's a confession I should make. Now, I'm not Catholic so I've never really done this before. Bear with me.
The thing is…
I'm an idealist. One of the things that drives me the most is impact. Empowering people is a huge part of my life. I'm an idealist that wears a business blanket around her. I love making people and organizations more effective, happier and just better people. Or groups of people. I love taking this mushy stuff like intuition, empowerment, learning and making it tangible and accessible so that things happen.
You know, strong companies, more effective people. All that stuff that lives in the real world.
My end game? Results. I am driven by tangible things like deadlines, results, impact and anything you can count. I just start with a bit of good old fashioned idealism.
Now the confession starts to get really good
Somewhere between worrying about makin' the donuts and paying those bills there was a time when I lost a little of that part of myself. Not "I'm gonna die in the jungle lost." Just enough to make me a wee bit well, less me. And I believe we're all our most effective when we're truly ourselves. It's actually ironic given one of my favorite quotes:
If you ask me what I came here to do I will tell you. I came to live out loud.
The slow leaking away of this part of myself wasn't obvious for a while. Over time I just became a bit stiff. And unlike myself. I started focusing only on results–not the way to get there. Misalignment starting showing up in my life at times. Things got harder and just didn't seem to work as well as they had before.
Why did I lose it? There are the usual suspects but the biggest reason is that I focused on the wrong goal. I had this idea that my main goal in life was to make money and pay my bills. Yes, those are realities. But focusing on them for me were akin to being on a hamster wheel where the object became keeping that cycle going. It was a gradual slipping away and a gradual awakening. Then there was a day when I just decided it was time to change my focus. I chose a deeper, more sustainable goal. That focus? To be myself. Idealist and all.
Allowing my natural preferences and my vision to guide me actually helped me find better opportunities are truly aligned with who I am. It's also given me much more stability in the good old financial department. Huh. Fancy that.
We all lose our way sometimes
I see startups do this all the time as they grasp for their early clients. Growing companies can fall into this trap as they seek to keep the ground they've gained. As a CEO of a scrappy little startup it can be easy to get caught up in all those darn logistics and lose sight of your vision. For me, finding my way back wasn't like waking up on pile of soft pillows and I had to make some real choices but once I got there it felt amazing. To live any other way is well, just kind of crazy.
So tell me.
What part of yourself or your company have you dropped off on the side of the results highway?
And how will you pick it back up?