Going the Distance and Enjoying the View

Post by Lamisha Serf for the Kindness in Business series.

photo by Don O’Brien on Flickr

Over the past 10 years or so I have had this intense urge to run a mini-marathon. It has been on my bucket list for a while now, but for some reason I just haven’t made the time to do it. Maybe it’s because I don’t really enjoy running. Actually, I hate it.

The desire to run a mini comes solely from the challenge it would provide and the feeling I would experience having accomplished such a big goal. (If you would have told me when I was 15 hating every second of the 2 mile run we did for gym class that I would eventually want to run, I would have responded by laughing hysterically just before collapsing in complete exhaustion.)

Something you should know about me is that I have always had an aversion to long distance running. Not so much for the physical exertion it required as it was more a mental thing for me. The idea of not seeing the finish line while I was running around curves, up and down hills, and through the woods made me crazy. (Or at least that is what I am attributing it to.)

If I had to run, I preferred to run a distance that I could easily see from start to finish. Sprints were my thing and not because I was particularly good at it either. I just liked the instant gratification I felt knowing I would soon pass over the finish line, even if I were in last place.

So why am I sharing my general distaste for running with you? It’s because not too long ago I realized I viewed running my business through the same lens I viewed actual running.

But wait a minute? Aren’t you supposed to enjoy every single minute of running your own business especially when you are doing something you love?

I thought so, but little did I know I was in for a huge lesson in compassion, patience, and what ‘going the distance’ with your business really means.

Before I ever coached a single soul, I had this vision of what a booming business was supposed to look like. In my vision when I wasn’t working with clients one-on-one, I was sipping lattes while writing amazingly engaging copy in a swanky coffee shop with all the other writers. Work hours were short, vacations were long, and money flowed to me in all kinds of amazing ways.

A few months into my business and with one client under my belt, I was hit hard with the reality of what running a business turned out to be…at least in the beginning.

I knew the statistics about new businesses and I was hell bent on defying every single one of them. I refused to be in the red during my first year and I certainly wasn’t going to call it quits in the first six months like many others. I was going to stick it out and make things work.

When I started my business I had a full-time job to keep me afloat financially so I figured all was well and things would just grow from there. A month into my then official business I received notice I was going to lose that full-time security blanket in three months.

In that moment I hit my first valley.

As I began to doubt my skills, talent, and ability to create a thriving business, I went searching for ‘the fix’. I was looking for the course, the teacher, the coach, and ultimately the solution to my pitiful business blues. I had the dream, I had the business, but where on earth were the clients, money, and the success I had dreamt about? And while I was focusing on what I didn’t have, what about the money-making ideas, products, and amazing services that I had brewing in my mind? Why weren’t they making me millions of dollars already? Why wasn’t I like all the other coaches (who had been in business far longer than I) with wait lists a mile long, published books, and amazing speaking engagements???

Why?! Why?! Why?!

When I finally stopped stomping my feet and waving my hands about like a spoiled child, I had a moment of clarity.

I didn’t go into business for myself to do everything in the first year and move onto something else. I never intended on being a one hit wonder of the coaching world to never be heard from again. I didn’t even intend to call it quits after making a million dollars so I could retire on a beach somewhere.

My business, my passion, and my purpose have always been about changing lives and empowering people to live their dreams and do more of what they love.

When I remembered that simple fact, I was able to settle back into the rhythm and flow that entrepreneurship brings. My eyes were no longer set on getting to the finish line, but rather on enjoying the view from where ever I might be in each moment.

It turns out that’s not only one of the best ways to run a business, but a good general rule for living. When we remember to be gentle and compassionate with ourselves while having a bit of patience and accepting wherever we are as perfect and divine, it seems everything falls into place.

Within a month of this realization and a little tweaking in the patience department, I saw my business in a whole new light. I was so grateful for the lessons I was learning and I began loving every minute of creating, building, and expanding my business.

If I could go back and give myself advice about what running a business is really like I would say this:

It is a life-changing journey with points that ebb and points that flow, but when you are doing something you love and you commit to going the distance, it is no longer about the end result, but instead the view along the way. And what a beautiful view it is.

Lamisha Serf is a dreamer, partner, and mama of one whose passion is to help women identify and live the life of their dreams. With her unique, inspiration-driven coaching philosophy, she helps clients get out of their minds and into their hearts as they find creative and inspired ways to overcome challenges and live the life they once dreamt. When she’s not working with clients one-on-one she can be found reading, writing or working on her latest e-course titled Unleash Your Personal Power.
Connect with her Online, on Facebook, or Twitter.

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