We all know there is no magic bullet.
No shining, perfect strategy guaranteed to sky rocket our business results and make the investment of time and money all worthwhile.
But, dang, don’t you wish there were sometimes?
As much as I know that there isn’t. As much as I preach and practice that there isn’t.
When I have a bad day, or things aren’t going as planned, or someone pushes my buttons, I am as quick as the next person to start thinking “There must be a magic bullet! Where is the magic bullet? I need the magic bullet!”
And it takes love and support and compassion to calm my nervous system so I slow down and breathe again and get back to the next thing that I know is on my right path.
Some of you know my son has been struggling hard the last three or more years. Mental health issues. Learning issues. Serious physical health challenges. One of top of the other.
For a while, I threw everything at him but the kitchen sink. Conventional medical stuff. Pharmaceuticals. New school. Tutoring. Alternative medical stuff. Aryurveda. Supplements. Counseling. Neurofeedback. Tens of thousands of dollars spent on support and services.
I was looking for that one thing that would make it all right. Or the five things that would turn him around. That would make him better. But the more we did, the less we seemed to make any progress.
So reluctantly, we started pulling back from all the support that we’d had such hope would make the difference. That we counted on. That we invested in. Dropping the ones that made the least impact. Pausing others until we could see more clearly what he needed.
I finally realized that no one was coming to save us, to save him. That it was unlikely that someone out there had the key to fix all that seemed to be so broken if only I could find it.
And there were still things we could do. Simple things my husband and I could provide. Good, solid, unexciting support, day in and day out.
More structure. Better bed time routine. More exercise. More time together. More expectations and responsibility.
I could make good food and serve it. I could teach him some of the tools I use to navigate life. I could hug him more often.
And most of all, I could step out of fear and do everything in my power to see his light, to believe in him, to trust that together, using the best of what we know, we can move in the right direction.
And you know, I am seeing small, subtle changes that tell me we are on the right path. My son is laughing more. Stepping up to help out more. Getting more motivated. Finding joy in his creativity. And finding ways to look up when he’s feeling down.
I tell you this because I think we are this way with our businesses.
Our businesses are our babies, and sometimes they flail and struggle and we don’t know what to do to help them.
And it’s so easy and so tempting to look outside of ourselves for the answer. To find the coach or mentor who we hope will see things more clearly and point the way. To think that if only we use this new strategy, everything will change.
And it might.
But for the long game, if we are in for the long haul, we need to learn to show up for ourselves. To define what it means to show up for our businesses. To decide that we know a lot already. Maybe even enough. To figure out what we can do day in and day out that will make a difference.
And then to do it. Even on the days it’s hard.
To tackle the sometimes agonizing tasks of:
Deciding our direction
Choosing what matters most
Using our time consciously
Accepting when we bite off more than we can chew.
So to nurture your work, your baby, cultivate your capacity to show up daily, to engage fully. To bring energy, love, and devotion to the work of growing and running your business.
When you trust yourself to do that, you’re no longer so vulnerable to the myth of the magic bullet.
And to be clear, I am not suggesting that we never hire a mentor, or ask for advice, or try something new. Quite the contrary.
But until we learn to manage and master ourselves, until we make it habit to show up for ourselves and our businesses every day in a way that is satisfying, those resources are unlikely to be the answer and unlikely to transform the story that we are living.