Is your business booming or bLooming?
Is your business booming or bLooming? The L can make all the difference.
Recently I hosted a couple of women at my home to engage in a vision board exercise. (For anyone not familiar with these exercises, it involves cutting pictures and words out of magazines that speak to your heart/intuition and help you craft a vision for your future). As they were sharing their pictures, Jen held up a beautiful pink peony in full bloom. The caption on the image was: “Business is Blooming?”.
Initially, I read it as, “Business is Booming” (perhaps it was an assumption, or maybe it was just my aging eyesight). This made me thoughtfully consider the two terms – booming and blooming. In business, is there a difference?
If we hear a business is “booming”, in the traditional sense, we almost always equate it to financial success. But I think for entrepreneurs, the unique success identifier is in the “L”.
The “L” is about the WHY
For many entrepreneurs, making money is a secondary outcome of why we go into business in the first place, but it sure gets a lot of attention.
I took the leap and left corporate America to start my own coaching business because I felt an unavoidable call to do so. This work allows me to leverage my skillset and passions and brings fulfillment and meaning in a way that high profit margins never could. Yet, the shiny objects that fill my inbox with enticing promises can be distracting: “How I made 7-figures the first year of my business” and “Using my amazing approach, you too can make 6-figures a month!”. Marketers understand that entrepreneurs desire to make money (and quickly!) so money-making tactics are everywhere.
Financial success is not unimportant. A business owner must figure out how to make money (otherwise it’s just a hobby) but it is important to discern wisely and never let it become the primary focus.
Staying centered on my WHY and letting it guide my decisions, investments and definition of success is what helps my business bloom.
The “L” is about the journey
As entrepreneurs, it’s so important that we do not lose sight of the amazing journey that is uniquely ours.
When I left the security of a 25-year corporate career, I wanted a new challenge. I wanted to experience something entirely new. I wanted to be stretched in new ways. I wanted to use the power of my creative energies, professional experiences and personal passions to create a business. Voilà. A manifestation of my desire.
That does not mean it has all been all sunshine and roses (or blooming peonies to keep with the theme). Like all entrepreneurs, I have experienced struggles, detours and setbacks. And I have no doubt that unexpected things lie in the journey ahead. But I’ve learned that’s all part of the adventure. Embracing the journey means you get the whole ride.
It is easy to focus on the challenges and hurdles – our brains are wired this way. It takes intention to focus on gratitude. The added blessings on my journey thus far are the people I have met, the meaningful experiences I’ve had and the ways I have made an impact in this world. No matter what you do for a living, paying attention to your blessings is a way to bloom v. boom.
The “L” is about personal growth
Powerful people realize that every experience offers the opportunity become a stronger, wiser and a more equipped human being. As a business owner, the journey of growth is not just for my business, it is for me as well.
Being intentional to develop the best version of myself allows me to multiply my impact with others. Personal development is a constant journey of self-awareness. There is no end destination. I am continuously asking myself, “what am I learning from this experience and how can it help me?”.
Of course, my growth has also come from disappointment, frustration and best-laid plans. These challenges have made me resilient, flexible, and creative.
Embracing the highs and lows of business is a reality. Using those lessons to become a stronger version of yourself is what will make your business bloom.
Embrace the “L”
A blooming business IS a booming business. If I stay focused on why my business exists and embrace the learning along the way, it will be a remarkable journey. It’s all about perspective.