There are two words tossed out there lately:
Alignment and energy.
It’s foreign to a lot of people but not so much to others.
For example, one may tell you to focus on things/situations/projects/etc that align with your goals. Usually in a manner of implementing a new skill or trying a new approach to a technique or program.
Then there’s energy.
“Where energy goes, energy flows.”
“Don’t place your energy in something that doesn’t benefit you.”
Usually, terms like alignment and energy are placed outside of the business. In business, however, there are a set of rules that one MUST follow or they WON’T be successful.
But is this true?
I never thought much about energy and alignment. I, in fact, thought the idea was a little silly on the side of “weird” New Age silliness.
But as I started going through a spiritual refocus in my private life, I thought about how I could apply it to how I run my business.
If I were to tell you how I feel about my business right now, I’d say I was dissatisfied.
Because I haven’t had time to pitch projects with people I really want to work with.
Because I have all of these other things I want to do.
Newsletters, blog posts, videos, social posting.
Why do you need to do these things?
To be successful.
But nothing in that list includes things you really want to do, resulting in happiness and being drained which prevents you from pitching projects you really want to work on.
In other words, the tasks I spent time doing weren’t aligning with where I wanted to be, ergo, my energy was being wasted.
One day I made a list of what I wanted to do and what I didn’t, outlining why and what the result would be from not.
Things on my ‘do not want to spend time working’ list were a lot of things I was currently doing.
How silly is that?
So I made a decision in how I would change that–how would I balance or shift the energy of my focus so I can feel happier with the state of my business?
And this is where things got fun and scary.
Focus less on email sign up opt-ins. Create one major opt-in that’s evergreen for all audiences and let that be it.
I’m sure the online business gurus are hissing at me right now, but listen, I’m not an online business, technically. Sure you can view my business online. Sure I have an online presence, but my business is not 100% online, and thus I don’t consider being an online business.
Narrow down who you’re targeting and go for it.
“Everybody” can’t be in your niche. It’s just not possible. This struggle is a hard one because I’m an equal opportunity for everyone kind of person. But I know to hit the financial goals, I need to focus and narrow down who I want to work with to get off this hamster wheel of being “semi-successful.”
Feeding negative energy keeps it alive. Squash it.
Holding a grudge against someone? Negative energy.
Having imposter syndrome? Negative energy (normal, but don’t feed into it).
Jealousy? Negative energy (again, normal. Again, don’t feed into it).
Self-doubt? Negative energy.
Get where I’m going with this?
There are emotions you have that are not 100%. Fear, in my opinion, is saying what you want to do is something that will turn out well.
All of this is easier said than done, mind you. Working through anxiety is a skill I’ll add to my services one day because I’ve done it more times than not.
But eventually, you’ll get tired of the negative and crave the positive.
Start by making little changes:
Unfollow people you’re jealous of.
Write out what you’re good at, what you can do very well, and how you can apply it to your business
Go for a walk and clear your head listening to bubblegum pop.
Do that thing you’re really good at. It doesn’t need to be business-related.
Talk to someone you trust.
Delete anything that feeds into negative mindsets
I unfollowed people who were part of the diet community because I was tired of feeling like a failure for not following a Keto diet to the ‘T’ or falling off the vegan train. It’s not them, it’s me.
Develop a healthy habit and practice it for 21 days (it takes 21 days to develop a habit, they say).
When I say healthy I don’t mean weight loss. I mean meditate, walking in the mornings to wake yourself, journaling, writing affirmations, reading a chapter of a book, etc. This is one of the reasons I started running and going to the gym again. I love the idea of feeling strong and measuring my progress with my actions.
Align yourself with people who want to see you do well. Not everyone will understand what you do, but that doesn’t mean they can’t support you.
I have a friend I turn to when I’m brainstorming. It comes out of nowhere sometimes and she listens and asks questions and sometimes gives input. She knows what’s up and what I’m doing and it’s encouraging to have that person to bounce ideas off of.
There’s another person who (a friend and client), I’m helping right now. Just seeing the work he’s putting into developing his brand and trusting me to help him do it gives me the confidence to do my own. Bam.
There a couple of business besties who I also shoot ideas off of, or encourage me when I’m having a moment of depression/anxiety/ self-doubt. Keep them in your pocket at all times and return the favor (we all need somebody to lean on…).
Learn not to turn to everyone.
This is a big lesson because I want to tell everyone about everything I’m doing or ask for advice about every part of my project. While the advice is appreciated, I think getting too much advice can move you away from what you really want to do.
Some people you know may offer their unsolicited advice as well. Maybe they know what’s best, maybe they’re just being nosy. Either way, control the information you take in and out–and by the way, it’s OK to throw the entire thing in the trash.
Start identifying who you are, and stand firm in it.
Confession: I used to worry about being too political, especially in 2016. What if potential clients are deterred by posts? Maybe I should just keep it kosher.
Here’s the deal–
If a potential client is for detaining and separating children, we’re not meant to work together.
If a brand is OK with the discrimination of anyone because they don’t fit into a particular box, it’s a no-go.
To me, there’s a difference between speaking up and trolling. Trolling is a waste of energy and does nothing productive for me.
However, if I speak against violence in the LGBTQ community, it’s productive in being an ally and a decent human being. Showcasing both is not a bad or terrible thing.
As much as I’d love to only post about being a plant mom, there are times real-life things need to be addressed.
When I pitch to brands, I know I’ll be pitching to those who align with my values, so I’m not worried about them knowing what I stand for. Make sense?
Realigning and re-energizing is not an easy feat. If you find yourself slipping back, give yourself grace. It takes a while for you to get there, and you will get there. The negative feelings didn’t develop overnight, and they will not change overnight.
Remember to commit to yourself first and take care of yourself. It’s OK to be a little selfish. It’s time to