I started a business on my kitchen table. You can too!

Here’s the wonderful secret about running your own business: it’s exactly like having a baby. You don’t have to know everything, before you begin. The trick is that you will learn what you need to know, as you go. The journey itself will be your teacher. All you need is the courage to put your boots on the road and take that very first step!

I love coaching women who want to run their own businesses, because I love to watch the process of smart people aligning themselves to live their own best lives. The way I see it, success is about living according to your values. Not my values – not anyone else’s values. But your very own values. Whatever they may be.

Your life is your business. You are the CEO of your own destiny.

If you can create a life in which you live and work in such a way that you address your very own values, every day – then you are a success.

Personally, I always loathed the idea of conventional “business,” because I never liked the values that seemed to go along with it. It seemed to be a lot of white men wearing grey suits and red ties, babbling on about Q1 and Q2, crushing the competition and stabbing one another in the back. Just not that appealing, and not a world I really wanted to inhabit.

Plus, I never understand anything about business plans and all that shizzle, so I thought I couldn’t run a business. Here’s a funny secret, don’t tell anyone – four years and a million pound business later, I still don’t understand business plans! Still couldn’t write one, if you put my head in a bag and threatened to take away my afternoon cuppa. The closest I ever got was reading Business Plans For Dummies, on the train on the way to meet with an investor. I didn’t finish it. Turns out – unless you’re trying to get a loan, you don’t really need to know about business plan!

You just need to have a passion, and a drive to offer real value in the world.

So let me offer you an alternate definition of business. In my opinion, real business is not about getting ahead, or doing sleazy marketing, or betraying your values, or even accumulating wealth.

The real point of business is this:

WALKING YOUR GIFT OUT INTO THE WORLD.

Now don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with wealth. It can purchase some useful things, like peace and freedom and security for your family. But I believe we’ve had it backwards, all this time.

Business is not for making money.

Sure, the money is great. But the money isn’t the point. It’s about making a contribution to the world.

Wondering what that contribution is? Here’s how to find out: it’s the intersection of four things:

  1. What you love
  2. What you’re good at
  3. What you can get paid for
  4. What the world needs.

Whatever you were put on this earth to do, it is your duty and your responsibility to fulfill that gift, to advocate for it, and to bravely walk it into the world – just as you would a beloved child. Would you feel too shy or too scared to walk your child into first grade and show them around their new school? No, of course not! You would be concentrating on the child, getting them settled, introducing them to their new teachers and new classmates. Your shyness or feeling of self consciousness simply doesn’t come into it – you need to be there for your child.

Well, in exactly that same way, you need to be there for your gift. Whatever it is, the world is waiting for your to express it, and if you don’t, it will remain forever unexpressed. Business is simply a way of getting things done – it’s a way of putting your gift out into the world.

Martha Graham said it best: “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.”

You have a duty to play your part and put your puzzle piece out there, into the big global puzzle – because if you don’t, no one else ever will! That piece will be lost forever.

It’s about taking responsibility for making your contribution to the world.

So get out there and put your boots on the road to success, by starting your own business! I promise, you’ll never look back.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Shann,
    I loved reading this as it is almost like you plucked the thoughts from my very own mind and put them to paper. I have a gift and I’m not expressing it. I often feel the intense urge that I must use my talent for the better of the world and that so far I’ve wasted my gift. This is mixed with despair about the ties of my financial responsibilities, the how, the where to start and finding the time and headspace.
    Have you ever considered running retreats? I know, for myself, I would love to take some time out in a different and peaceful environment, interspersed with some inspirational discussions and perhaps it would help me see my way, more clearly.
    Anyway, for now I shall keep up with your blogs and try to start – even tiny steps. Thanks x

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