A couple of years ago I learned one of the most valuable lessons ever for my business. I learned how to start a stopping list.
I was meeting with a new business coach for the first time and was ready to really dive in. I told her in advance that I did not want any “woo woo” life coaching work, I wanted business strategy.
We began our session and the first question she asked me was to share with her about a positive experience from my childhood. I thought, “what does this have to do with my business?”
The second question was about a positive adult life experience. At that point I was thinking I might have just made a big mistake.
Then she asked me to share with her a positive career/business experience. I knew in that moment that she was the wrong person!
I was there to map out my business plan, not talk about my feelings!
Of course, I answered the questions all the while wondering where this was going while she scribbled words on a notepad. Then an amazing thing happened. In the end, she was able to show me, based on our discussion, what my core values were. I had never been so happy to be so wrong.
This was the starting point for my business strategy. She was brilliant!
We took two big flip chart pages and mapped out in words what I wanted my future to look like. We created guideposts for my business, relationships, and myself.
Then, we looked at what I am currently doing, what I love, and what makes me go “eeeeeckkh”. We took this information and we made a “Stop Doing” list. Every single thing I have on my plate was assigned a passion number. If the passion number was low, she asked me to make a decision – Invest or Divest.
I will be the first to admit, it wasn’t easy. But, I wrapped up my day with a clear picture of the things I no longer wish to do in my business, a plan on how to gracefully communicate those things to my clients, and solutions I could offer to help.
Letting go of the things that do not serve you well is a difficult thing to do. For me it places me in scarcity mode. I worry about my “responsibility” and the impact that saying no will have. This exercise showed me that, although planning the future of my business is exciting and fun, taking time to assess what I love, and what I need to stop doing is paramount to moving ahead.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because we are all taking on more. Whether it is another social networking site, more tasks at home that we hate doing, or saying yes to clients who drain your energy, there is always an abundance of more.
Right now, as we begin the second half of this year, is the time to pay attention to what you have on your horizon . Look for the things that really jazz you, that you enjoy doing, and figure out how you can incorporate more of those into your life.
Then, look at those things that leave you tired, lacking in energy and procrastinating to do. These are the signs that will help you make your own “Stopping” list.
Look at it with the mindset that you work to live; you do not live to work. Your highest priority and most important responsibility is to create a business that you love so much it does not feel like work, and it allows you to have the life of your dreams.
Are you taking full responsibility for your life? Share in the comments below!