Are you doing things that make your soul sing and bring joy to your heart? Or are you dragging yourself through endless lists of to-dos and should-dos that are slowly sucking the life force out of you? Is it possible to live and work from a place of joy? Can you let joy be your guiding light, your homing beacon? Can you really thrive instead of survive when joy is your guide?
Yes. Absolutely, unequivocally, Yes!
When I first launched my business in 2009, I came at it from a practical goal-setting and planning approach that I learned so well in my corporate marketing job. The thing is, I’d set goals, create a marketing plan, schedule things to do, make lists of services and classes to offer, and products to create, and then hit a wall of resistance and procrastination. As a high achiever, A-type personality, I was frustrated by my inability to make myself show up in my business. So I went to different coaches and marketing gurus and learned about selling and client attraction and writing compelling copy. Yet it still felt like slogging through mud. I didn’t feel inspired because of all the structure I was imposing on myself.
My business would get going and stall. I’d get a creative burst and then not follow through. My website went through at least 10 copy overhauls. And I struggled to stay focused every single day. My inner kid was having a temper tantrum and just wanted to play. But how could I allow myself to play if I wasn’t getting serious work done and meeting my goals? I had a business to run. I so did not want to go back to a corporate job again.
Not only was this frustrating me, it was making me feel burned out and depressed. I was trying to create my business following other people’s blueprints. I wasn’t being me or following my heart or my inner guidance (all things I know and teach, by the way!). And I was flailing about, reinventing my business every few months. Exhausting.
I’ve always been a rebel. Rules were sort of like suggestions, or didn’t necessarily apply to me. If I could come up with a creative work-around I did. It drove my corporate bosses’ nuts that I got results without strictly adhering to plan. Yet here I was trying to make me use those tactics in creating my own business when those tactics never worked for me in in any corporate job I ever held. Holy moly, I was becoming my own bad boss, building an inhospitable work environment for my creative spirit.
As a numerologist (among other things) I went back to look at the numbers for my business name and “birthdate”. The answer was hiding in plain sight. My business is a 3 vibration which is about joy, playfulness, self-expression, creativity, passion, nurturing, and communication. Yet I was attempting to run my business from a super-serious, practical, task-master approach, which is the opposite of what was needed for me to thrive in my business.
A major shift was required. Instead of letting logic mind dictate what to do, I checked within to feel it out. I tried an experiment: planning and managing vs. joyful expression. What I discovered was that when I came up with classes and services from logic mind, they weren’t as successful as when I sat down and wondered what would be fun to offer or teach.
When I let joy be my guide in my business, things just came together. I felt lighter and was more enthusiastic about what I was offering. After all, if I thought it was going to be fun or interesting, wouldn’t others want to participate too? I noticed I’d avoid marketing the things that I thought I should offer, and had no trouble talking about (aka marketing) the things I was truly excited about offing. When I was coming from a place of joy, my vibration was higher, I felt lighter and more enthusiastic. That energy attracted others to join in the joy vibration with me… even when we were doing deeper transformation work.
And I realized that you can indeed create a successful business when you let joy be your guide.
Are you ready to create your life, your career or your business from a place of joy?
Great! Here are some journal questions and exercises to help you:
- Have you ever experienced joy? (I thought everyone did, but I had a couple of clients who couldn’t identify the feeling of joy.)
- When have you experienced joy? (If this is hard to identify, try substituting “happy” or “feeling good”)
- What makes you feel joyful? (or happy or good)
- Remember the feeling of joy or happiness that you had. Now imagine that this good feeling is doubled. And double it again. You can use this memory and feeling to help you make decisions from a place of joy.
- When you need to make a decision, check in with yourself and see which decision feels lighter (more joyful) and which seems heavier. Follow the more joyful feeling and then notice what the outcome is. Once you have a couple of positive experiences using this, you will be able to trust it more.
- If you are creating a new product or service or working on a project ask yourself what would be fun or joyful for you, or how can you do this in a more joyful and uplifting way.
- Take time-outs to play and daydream. This engages your inner child as well as your beautiful spirit. You may discover, as I did, that ideas come to you “out of the blue” when you give yourself permission to play.
Practice letting joy be your guide and allowing more fun in your life. May you be delighted by the outcomes you create and the serendipity that surrounds you.