What if you believed that your primary business is to be your true, authentic self? And what if you could then express that self by doing things you love to do? What if you learned more about what makes a business successful and, like a commercial business person does, created a strategic plan for your life, put systems in place to execute that plan, got the help you needed to succeed at it and created a series of outcomes that could be measured and duplicated?
Does that sound sort of cold and too “business-like?” Then let’s add in the more juicy ingredients: fulfilling work, artistic or creative expression, time for family, friends, fun activities. All those could be integrated into your strategic plan. What a concept!
Being a Life Entrepreneur starts with a sense of purpose, actually a higher purpose than performing daily activities or tasks, or even meeting short-term goals. To be a true Life Entrepreneur, you take the time to search your soul, think about why you’re here on the planet, what is it you’re meant to do. It helps to look back over your life and survey where you have spent your time, energy, money and put your attention on.
I figured out early on that I am an educator, a teacher, but actually a pretty unconventional one. I taught Montessori for a few years, and when I moved into the business world again, I found that applying the principles I learned from my teaching helped me grow my business. I continued to teach more formally on the side by studying metaphysics and offering classes, coaching people, then included business consulting by the mid-eighties. These were all forms of teaching, but very unconventional. As the owner of a sales agency, I saw my role of educator as a way to help my employees reach their highest potential. As a coach and consultant, I helped others do that for themselves and their employees.
Now I’m teaching by writing, coaching and consulting, but have the luxury of spending more time thinking about how to share ideas with a broader audience. When I look back at the last forty or so years, I can see that my time, energy, money and attention have been directed to molding me into the woman I am today, and that I was purposeful about it from the beginning.
The reason I talk about being strategic is that I learned from experience that when I create new strategies, I get closer to creating my chosen outcomes. When I stay with old patterns and keep using old strategies somewhat unconsciously, I seem to keep repeating them and feel like I’m on a merry-go-round and can’t get off. We call that “revolving” instead of “evolving.” Just being purposeful wasn’t enough. To feel my work and life are truly fulfilling, I found it was necessary to consistently examine and revise my strategies, both personally and professionally.
Somedays I feel a little silly being 62 and learning how to Twitter, update my LinkedIn page and see what is up on Facebook. Other days, I feel like those things are part of what keep me relevant and current, and that I have a good thirty or forty years of productive, meaningful, purposeful living ahead of me, so it makes perfect sense to do those things.
What I’m really saying is that this is what makes me feel like a Life Entrepreneur. I’m carving out my life, and enjoying what I’m learning along the way. And it sure beats the alternative–waiting around for something to happen until one day I wake up and can’t figure out how to get up!