I talk a lot about being a big-hearted business owner.
It's the best way I know to describe my mindset and approach when it comes to running my business - because there's a whole lot of heart and intention behind the work I do as a big-hearted coach, and I see within all of my clients and the awesome humans I connect with through this blog, my Weekly Letters, and my podcast that there's a whole lot of heart and intention behind the work they're doing in the world too.
So today I want to dive a little deeper into what it actually looks and feels like for me to run a big-hearted business, in the hopes it can hold some space for you to explore what it could look like for you too, no matter what type of business you're running and awesome work you're doing in the world along the way.
And before we jump in, just a quick reminder that I have relaunched The Big-Hearted Coach, my 1:1 coaching program for coaches and mentors who want guidance and support to bring to life the big-hearted business they're aching for. We'll be getting started in April and I have just a few spots left available for this round now, if you'd like to find out more you can this way.
And here's what it looks and feels like for me to run a big-hearted coaching business...
I feel so grateful every single day that I have the privilege of supporting my coaching clients in the pursuit of their wildest creative hopes and dreams. Through the work we do together I walk with them in their journey of building businesses from scratch, launching incredible projects like podcasts, online magazines, workshops, and books, and giving themselves permission to really choose more for themselves and build an incredible creative work and life every step of the way.
Nothing is more meaningful to me in my business than the work I do with my clients, than bearing witness to their courage and their dreams and rooting for them every step of the way. And nothing brings me more joy than seeing my clients astonish themselves - when they reach that goal they didn't believe was possible for them, or they get to the finish line of a project they thought they would always be too afraid to start, or when they let go of all of the mindsets, fears, and habits that have been holding them back for years and truly start to build for themselves a joyful and big-hearted creative business and life - and the fact that it's my job to support them in this journey is one of the greatest joys of my life.
Not only is my work fulfilling because of the awesome work I get to do with my clients, but it's also fulfilling because it gives me the freedom to life my life on my own terms every step of the way too. I have space to rest, create, and just enjoy my life each week outside of my business, and I have complete control over what direction I take my creative work and life in next too.
It's not always easy, there's still stress, anxiety, and overwhelm along the way in this journey at times, but deep down in my soul I always feel such a strong sense of fulfilment in my business and my life and I'm always so grateful to have the freedom and ability to run a big-hearted business and live a big-hearted life on my own terms every step of the way.
and Sustainable too
For the past three years my big-hearted coaching business has enabled me to provide for my little family, support my husband to leave his job so he can build his own big-hearted business from scratch, and put our money where our happy is so we can travel and have adventures and support causes that we believe in too. Most days I have to pinch myself a little that this scary idea I once dreamed up while I was living in my old bedroom in my parents house is now the thriving and profitable business that it is today, and being able to make a good living doing work that is meaningful and fulfilling to me has been one of the most pivotal experiences of my life so far.
I run my business from a place of integrity and intention
For me, being a big-hearted business owner means that at the heart of everything I do is a whole lot of integrity and intention. I've always held onto the belief that I don't have to compromise myself, my values, or my integrity to build an impactful, fulfilling, and sustainable creative business - I can show up as my whole self, market my work in a way that feels true to me, and make decisions from a place of courage and intention rather than of fear and impatience.
Because I don't just want to build a successful business, I want to build one that I can be proud of, that feels like home to me instead of something I had to change myself for to make it work. And thankfully that's exactly what I've been able to do these past three years and what I plan to continue to do every step of the way moving forward too.
My business works for me and my life, not the other way around
I've built my business to work alongside my life, my health, my family, and my creativity - I'm not willing to sacrifice all of that in the pursuit of external metrics of success. My business gives me the freedom to take care of my physical and mental health needs on my own terms, to spend quality time with my friends and family each week, to have space for my creativity outside of my work, and to have a whole lot of fun along the way too. In 2018, for example, I'll be taking off 16 weeks altogether from my coaching business so I can travel, dive deeper into personal creative projects, and spend time with my favourite humans too, I rarely work more than 20-25 hours each workweek, and my business thrives because of these choices that I make too.
And this hasn't always been the case - I had to be brave enough to choose to build my business this way and give myself permission to live my life on my own terms, and I have to be brave enough to continue to choose this whenever I start to feel a little overwhelmed, stressed, or disconnected along the way too.
I define success and growth on my own terms
I'm not chasing external markers of success in my creative work and life - my big-hearted business gives me the freedom to define success and growth on my own terms, not by measuring myself against others and society's expectations too. And in this season of my life success looks like being able to provide for myself and my little family, to do work in the world that I believe in and that feels meaningful, to nurture the friendships and relationships that matter most to me, to bring to life blog posts, podcast episodes, Weekly Letters, and mini books that support and encourage other creatives in the pursuit of the bravest hopes and dreams, and to have the ability to take care of myself, to live my life on my own terms, and to have a hell of a lot of fun along the way too. And growth, for me, looks like going deeper, not wider, like honing my craft and becoming the best coach and writer that I can be, and committing to being the bravest version of myself each day in my work and my life.
And defining success and growth on my own terms doesn't mean that I'm not plagued my insecurity, fear, and self-doubt from time to time, but it means that what I'm chasing in my life is what truly matters to me and that's what fuels me to keep going and keep showing up every step of the way.
I build relationships with incredible humans
The greatest joy of my big-hearted business are the incredible humans I have met along the way. I've worked with over 150 clients now and every single one of them has inspired me and taught me something about what it means to be a human being in the world and a creative person pursuing a goal and a dream. Some of them have even become close friends, which is such a beautiful part of this journey that I am so grateful for every day. Spending my weeks on coaching calls with my clients, listening to their stories, holding space for them to explore their fears, hopes, ideas, and dreams, and being the person they feel comfortable turning to for support, guidance, and encouragement is the most meaningful part of my work, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to get to know them, to walk with them in their journey, and to share a little bit of myself with them too.
And more than just my clients, I also connect with so many amazing humans each week through the content I share and replying to emails from readers and listeners is one of my favourite parts of my week too - knowing that something I have brought to life and shared online has connected and resonated with someone brings me so much joy, and that I get to connect with awesome people all over the world each week will never fail to blow my mind a little bit.
I have space to share my story, ideas, and lessons I'm learning along the way
As much as coaching is the very core of the work I do in the world, my writing is also such a big part of it too. Having the space, through this blog, my Weekly Letters, my mini books, and my podcast too, to share my ideas, stories, and lessons I'm learning along the way is one of my favourite things about my business. Writing is my happy place, it's how I really explore and get to the heart of my ideas and my stories, how I navigate and process my thoughts and the lessons I'm learning along the way, and how I connect with potential clients and incredible humans each week too. I feel most connected to myself when I'm writing, and through my big-hearted business I've created a space for me to share that each week and I am so glad that I have.
Writing this felt a little like a love letter to my business journey so far, but that's perhaps exactly what it should feel like as a big-hearted business owner. Because this is more than just a job or a way to make a living for me, it's so much more meaningful than that. It feels like the work I'm meant to be doing in the world, like this is exactly where I'm meant to be right now. And that doesn't mean I don't have a wobble from time to time, that it feels perfect every single day, because it doesn't and it never could. But this is my business, and I love it, and I'm so grateful for it every single day, and life and business can be really damn hard sometimes but when it's worth it you're willing to show up and keep going anyway and that's exactly how I feel about mine.
I hope reading this can hold a little space for you to explore what a big-hearted business could look like for you, and more than anything that it reminds you that it's oh so possible for you to build a big-hearted business on your own terms, that supports you to thrive as a business owner and as a human too, and that enables you to build an impactful, fulfilling, and sustainable creative life in whatever way that looks like for you.
I'll be rooting for you always!
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