The Whole Truth

May 04

2010

Before You Can Help Others, Help Yourself

by Alexis Neely - Posted in Blogathon, Pursuit of Truth, Spirituality, Values |

Several months ago, I heard Marianne Williamson speak at an event.

I asked her about the idea of combining spirituality with the business side of business.  The legal, insurance, financial and tax parts of business.

Her response was “Do Your Work.”

At the time, I thought she meant that I needed to re-immerse myself in my own spiritual practice.

Looking back now with the benefit of all that has happened since then I realize that the work she was talking about was not what I thought at all.

It wasn’t about more meditation.

The “work” I had to do was my work, the work of LIFT (my signature system for getting the business of your business on a solid foundation) in my own life and business.

I had to start looking at what I wasn’t looking at.  My messy books.  My lack of legal agreements.  Having no business insurance.  Unclear job descriptions.

Little did I know at the time that looking at those things would or could be a spiritual practice.  That doing my own work on my own business would bring up all my old patterns and fears.  It would show me what I really believed, underneath all the words, thoughts and actions.

And it would starkly show me where I wasn’t being true.

As I created my LIFT Foundation System and began to take the steps to do the LIFT work in my own business, a major shift began to happen.

I began to see what I hadn’t been seeing.  I saw exactly why I had given up on the dream and it wasn’t at all what I thought.

I began to see where I was holding back (and holding on too tightly) because of the fear that I didn’t really have what it took.  And I saw that when it came to the business parts of my business (the LIFT parts), I didn’t.

Sure, I had a great business from the outside.  It made lots of money and helped a lot of people.  But peek behind the curtain and there were a lot of shadows.  Drama.  Tears.  A company culture I wasn’t proud of.

As I’ve done my own work on my own business, the dream I had once let go of has been re-ignited and along with it the resources to make it a reality.

Just this week, I brought a CEO into my company.

I chose him as opposed to others I spoke with because he is committed to creating a company culture based on congruence, open communication, and community.  All things I stand for and believe in, but wasn’t really living in my own business.

I didn’t know how.  I was taught to manage and lead from the example of the law firm partners I grew up under.  Poor role models to say the least.

But, I didn’t know any other way to be.  The patterned behavior so ingrained.

It took a commitment to LIFT my business and do my own work on myself and my business to see the truth of what was needed and to admit that it was beyond my own capacity to bring forth.

Hitch will run the day to day operations of the company, lead the team,  carry out the initiatives and cultivate the company culture.

That means I’ll get to do what I do best – dream, create, innovate.  Appear in the media.  Write books.  Teach.  And not spend so much time on the business part of my business – the parts that do not bring me energy and joy.

But, here’s the big secret that so many of us miss.

Before I could attract this level of help, I had to admit I needed it.  I had to face and do those things I didn’t want to look at and didn’t want to do – the LIFT things.

I had to be willing to get the basics in place so he could see I was serious about this business.  And once I became willing to do my own work, it made space for him to show up.

The process we went through to document the agreement governing our relationship alone was eye-opening.  Our line by line open-hearted discussion of the agreement told me he was the right one.

Someone of his caliber, experience and possibility never would have been attracted to come on-board if my books hadn’t been ready, if I hadn’t had a semblance of foundation in place.  My personal expenses completely separate from the business.  My three businesses all with their own entities, balance sheets, bank accounts, and projections.

I wonder … does this apply to you as well?

Not the part about LIFT.  I KNOW that does. You NEED to face the business of your business from a place of empowerment, not fear, head on. (And I can help you do it and make it a whole lot easier.)

I mean the part about needing to do your own work on yourself?  Do you want to help others, but find yourself not serving at the level you wish you were?  It could be because you need to help yourself first.

Maybe you are a marketing consultant/coach without a clear marketing plan.  Or perhaps you are a communications expert with a fuzzy message.  Or a spiritual teacher without a personal practice.

Do your work on yourself and watch what happens.