I’ve noticed that my interests are all over the map! It is less knowing what moves me and more about discovering ‘what else’ might move me, into action or the desire to engage in some way.
Recently, Anne Day, Founder of the Company of Women, posted her opening remarks in the latest Newsletter… which led me to discover something about myself, as a business person. I then shared these thoughts with some of the business women with whom I engage, which prompted further exploration from Sheila Winter Wallace of BodyGateways. These thoughts and expressions of intention feel important to me, and so I share them with you.
If they touch something inside you, you may want to check out Sheila’s Facebook Group on ‘Entrepreneurial Women in Powerful Conversations‘ and join in. With many voices and choices, we could offer a new perspective on an old way of doing things!
As always, your comments are welcome.
Let me begin by noting that ‘business’ is a nominalization; a label that we put on something (and it may well be different for us all!) that becomes a short-hand expression intended to facilitate communication and intention. In truth, that it is so, more often than not can lead to confusion and feelings of failure and inadequacy rather than the celebration of a life fully lived! Women, in particular, know intuitively this truth. Is it the size of my business that matters? Or is it the magnitude of gratification that I experience that spells failure or success?
I started my business in 1990. Over the last two decades, it has been the conduit for the quality of life that has fed me – body, mind and soul – as well as nurtured my now-adult children. It has been my gateway to discover who I have been capable of becoming, while making a practical difference in my world and a contribution to the lives of the people I care about.
Over the last 20 years, I have watched it grow and expand. Were I to identify more specifically how that growth took place, it would not be most accurately reflected in the ‘standard’ metrics of numbers (i.e. clients, dollars and cents, etc. ) but in a more elusive and difficult-to-calibrate one of ‘metamorphosis’ – an essential yet often overlooked requirement of transformation of a business through the evolution of the ‘self’.
Banks and other outside lenders tend not to be ‘attuned’ to such metrics, often overlooking a committed, creative and ingenious business woman for one that is more ‘traditional’ (i.e. numbers) in her considerations/measures of her world. That is not to say that numbers are irrelevant – and it is to say that they are not the only testament to one’s creative presence; and its impact/expression in the world.
In my experience for the last 20+ years, I have become mindful that I do not seek to create a monolithic structure that towers over all around it and emanates from the core. My own evolution has resulted in the desire to ‘grow’ through the creation of a web of interconnected ‘points of light’ (other business women) in a non-competitive business model, for impact. This low-to-the-ground and accessible (i.e. anyone can be part of it) structure is inclusive and invitational, rather than exclusive with performance measurements to qualify for participation. It is a mode that is both launched from and fed through dissemination of information/education both to and for the business women as well as their clients. We do not hold our own needs as separate from those of our clients.
Perhaps women have been perceived to be ‘risk averse’ for very good reasons – most of which having nothing to do with traditional metrics. In my experience of working with other business women, it is not that we do not want to succeed, or have an impact, or make a difference; or create an abundant and sustainable life – it is that we want that sustainable life to be meaningful; to weave easily into an overall quality of life; and to be a conduit for our own evolution and growth, ensuring that I am nurtured by my business process rather than creating one that feeds off my entrails. And as far as I know, the banks and those who set the ‘standards’ for what constitutes a ‘successful’ business have not yet found the metrics to calibrate for ‘meaningful’. Fortunately, women have and are carving out these paths, for themselves.
I look around me and I see women – both now and with the intention of – creating businesses that are a reflection of that which is authentically meaningful to them; and as such, are becoming conduits for social change. Not that they set out to create that social change – it is simply a natural by-product of having created something that was true, to and for them.
Perhaps we would be well-served to trust ourselves outside the box of historical thinking about business and do it the way it feels right, to us.
Thanks for sharing this, Louise. I believe it says it all. For me, it has been a long time coming to and arriving at this place of meaning for and sustaining of mySelf; I am now realizing the impact of simply being mySelf and giving voice to what is meaningful and to what does sustain me… and I keep choosing to be in that place of realization. I keep arriving in every moment; it is a pretty sweet place to be.
Yes, in my holographic universe, my metrics, now, for ‘business’ are different… and they can only be measured by how I feel inside, in being fully me, living my life. Traditional metrics only serve me, now, as guide posts to better decisions that I choose to make for mySelf… not as the deal-makers/deal-breakers, in and of themselves, that used to be true in my world. The 24 months leading up to this new acceptance were undeniably chaotic for me… after 30 years of both conscious and unconscious modelling of parents who were self-employed and another 35 years of self-employment, mySelf.
I don’t know that the ‘banks and outside lenders’ of old will ever consider the new metrics of which you speak. It won’t matter. There will still be those who will, when the final financial fall is complete and if they are still alive, be running around looking for the old gauges by which to measure… ‘what’? Those old gauges and the ‘what’ will be gone, permanently extinct.
Some of us, the world over, now, are waking up. Some of us, I believe, are realizing that there is a difference between rescue and assistance… the first insults, profiles and renders others as indistinct, unremarkable and incapable in the tyranny of not that… the latter respects, supports and potentiates others as remarkable, capable and unique. All we need to do is to look at the resulting evidence, the consequences, of our choices.
The monolith is a metaphor for the disconnect of ourselves (small ‘s’) from ourSelves (capital ‘S’) and our disassociation from each other. On the other hand, the low-to-the-ground, accessible web of interconnecting points of light is the metaphor for our undeniable connection of ourselves (small ‘s’) to ourSelves (captial ‘S’) and our distinctive associations to each other. In these natural associations, ‘competition’ knows no language, no vocabulary.
I guess my metric – and the only one that counts as the feed for me manifesting my life – is my own Self-trust; that is, ultimately, what determines the quality of my own life – by me, for me.
As we are now witnessing in Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan, there is a rising up of souls, coming together, in reclamation of their lives and personal dignity. In collective, these souls can each know personal autonomy and the Self-respect that evolves itself in that.
The weather pundits are speaking to another storm, this day and tomorrow, of potentially historical proportions. The weather is rising up. Gaia is rising up; I see it in her volcanic eruptions, her melting ice flows, her tsunamis, her earthquakes, her disappearing lands… her earth is rising up, her fire is rising up, her air is rising up, her water is rising up. Impact. I, too, AM rising up… in RIIG – respect, integrity, impact and generosity of spirit – as Ancient Space that Awakens and Provokes the Sacred. I have no more need or desire to hide from mySelf. Hiding breeds competition and disconnect. Visibility encourages connection; in that, eternally and internally, lives the question, ‘Who else?’
In that, all competition dissolves.
Such metrics know no equivalence, no calcualtion, in the language of traditional measurements. They can’t. Only I can measure the God Force that I AM… and, LOL, she is immeasurable.