One of the most pleasant surprises this year has been meeting Miguel Montoya, a Life Transformation Specialist from Sedona, Arizona. Isn’t it great that he gets to pick his own job title? We discussed how we each had mentors who pushed us out of the bald eagle’s nest precariously perched off of cliffside precipices to encourage us to soar. Not so majestically as out-of-the-box entrepreneurs, feeling more like nervous infrequent fliers losing a few feathers to the stress and excitement of it all. If you can imagine, a cartoonish scene of a person plummeting while their yelling voices trail with, “Are yoouu kiiiiiidddddddddiiiiiiiiiinnnnggg…”
All in good fun and spirits!
We have another thing in common—a few solid years of corporate experience which gave us a foundation to run and operate a business. I’ve worked as jack of all trades in corporate settings, working the whole gamut with front end and back end development, product and project management, SEO, advertising, content monetization, account executive management, and operational support. One realization which has been dawning on me has been that there is an interrelatedness to it all. Whether you’re in business for yourself or for others, if you’re working with a corporation or self-employed, there are ubiquitously applicable principles. As Miguel, my partner, and I discussed together, even if one is a life coach, yoga teacher, molecular biologist, or lawyer, these principles can give a significant edge to any person’s career.
Take working with outsourcing for example. Yes, Tim Ferriss speaks of it in his 4-Hour Workweek book. This isn’t just a get-rich guru’s call to action. Businesses of all shapes and sizes and people from all differing walks of life utilize the art of delegating to other persons and organizations to get things done. Have you ever taken your clothing to a dry-cleaner? You outsourced the cleaning of your clothing. Have you ever gone to the doctor’s office for a physical? You placed the care of your health in the hands of a qualified medical professional. Do you read books? You are relying on someone else’s work for knowledge and entertainment. Do you buy food from the groceries or are you foraging and hunting in your backyard? You get the general picture.
We all employ outsourcing to certain degrees. It is a method of allocating resources, time, and energy, and enabling us to get on with life in the best ways possible. As an entrepreneur, a bit of a nerve-racking yet necessary aspect of outsourcing is beginning to shell out bigger bucks to support your increasingly growing responsibilities and expanded needs for thriving, and vetting people of integrity to work alongside you.
Knowledgeability and Adaptability
My partner and I have worked with this dynamic and are familiar with the pros and cons. One thing we’ve seen in recent years has been a rising rate of turnover across all industries and corporate buyouts or business shutdowns. Due to this, we have had some difficulty in working with loss of information to transitions and have had to buffer this with out own willingness to research, carefully observe how other people work, and retain as much holistic knowledge as possible about the people and institutions we work with. It doesn’t matter if it’s not our job or our department. Advertising, Finance, Operations, Information Security, Legal and Governance, you name it.
I’ve had to work with NGO’s, with HIPPA compliance, and I’ve had to jump in on legally terminating a business partnership involving suspect activity in Colombia. This Colombian company was financially delinquent and the finance department demanded legal action though the CEO of the company had left and nearly two-thirds of the entire company had been laid off. Though I was no legal clerk, I dove into the legal archives and worked with the last remaining lawyer in the office. I met this lawyer at a company Halloween lunch in a unicorn onesie with mustard dribbled down the front. Whatever it takes! Pick people’s brains, read, connect the dots, show up at panels, conventions, and events. Crane your head over to see what a stranger at the local cafe is reading and engage them a.s.a.p. if you see them reading Malcolm Gladwell, Steven Pinker, Joseph Campbell, Gay Hendricks, or Alice Miller. If I see them reading a romance novel with a long-haired half-naked guy and a horse in the background… I usually mind my own business.
Just as willing as you are to learn and be knowledgeable, you must also be willing to unlearn and be proven wrong so you can get things right. And be okay with the fact that you can’t know everything.
The best way to remain centered and derive joy in every possible moment of life is to remain impartial about the day-to-day and stay focused on the essentials which in turn take care of the majority of the details. Things are always going to come up. Let them come and go. If you try to catch absolutely everything all the time and everything is something to take personally, you are really going to exhaust yourself. Most people are going to think most everything is a big freaking deal until the next big freaking deal. If you watch closely, there are people who crowd into the big-freaking-deal-train and go along for each ride, and those who’d rather not. I took ballet lessons once and learned of something called a chaîné (sounds like sheh-nay) turn, where you fix your gaze on a focal point and spin around on both feet, picking each foot up to help you keep pivoting and spinning. You’re supposed to not get so dizzy by focusing, which never worked for me, but the concept I’m trying to explain is the same difference. Choose your focal points wisely and try not to get so dizzy with all the everyday ongoings.
“Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best.”
One of the things I emphasize time and time again during my coaching and mentoring sessions is to disengage your focus on all the things outside of your control as much as possible so that you can leverage what is within your control. Oftentimes, identifying your leverages will be like finding the video game cheat codes to overcome the boss levels. Working harder is not always smarter. It can be deceptively simply to find that one small thing you can do and hit it with all you’ve got; it can be like a small little focal point in a big wall in front of you which will crack the entire wall once you hit it just right, bringing it all down. People can lose a great deal of energy sweating profusely over the size of the wall, how hard it looks to surmount, and can get easily locked into analysis paralysis over what to do about it or what’ll happen if you f*** up. You will always, always surmount and get through every moment of your life just as you have in every moment which has led up to this one. The one time when you won’t will be the time you breathe your very last breath and your time as a traveller to planet earth incarnated as a human being is up. In the grand scope of your entire, gorgeous life, would you rather get your boy or girl panties up constantly in a bunch or would you like to max out the fullness of your glorious experience? Do what you gotta do to choose the latter, over and over again.
Thrive & Let Thrive
“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
The business of being in business, whether as an entrepreneur or employee, comes down to how we all engage our gifts, talents, and abilities to thrive and assist others to do so as well. Yes, some of us out here in this world are working to survive. Watching and hearing the news used to be something I was very aversive to, until I realized that being aware of the world didn’t have to mean that I had to emotionally drown in all of its problems. It is not discompassionate to be aware that cutting ourselves off from thriving does not save humanity from all its woes. The absolute most effective way to make this world a better place is to leverage your actualization for maximal impact during your lifetime. The more conscientious badass human beings power up the grid of global human life, the better our world will be. We can keep a soft, compassionate heart and still thrive and let thrive. This is the way of the love warrior.