The journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step
Many business owners are so overwhelmed with the immediate, that they don’t know where to begin. Or, they feel so close they cannot distinguish where they begin and their business ends. Let’s turn around a common way of looking at our relationship to our business. Rather than scrutinizing our business, what if our business could put us under the microscope?
If your business were a person, how would he see you?
Consider the following:
- He sees you wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat about something that happened the day before. You shake that dream out of your mind only to be awakened a couple hours later—an hour before dawn.
- He sees you staying behind as you send the rest of the family off on the family vacation. He can tell you’re not happy about that! You’ve forgotten what it’s like to relate to anyone else outside your business.
- He sees you so involved with him—wearing so many different hats—that you miss meals and exercise.
Do any of these resonate with you?
Yes, it’s that bleary-eyed look of new parents! And those nightly feedings and diaper changes until the baby’s big enough to sleep through the night.
Conversely, envision this scenario:
- He sees you looking tan and well-rested. (Must be an empty nester).
- He sees you skiing every weekend in Winter Park—even midweek!
- You’re meeting with people he doesn’t know—perhaps future strategic partners? Or new friends?
- You’re with a good-looking couple—oh, that’s your daughter and future son-in-law.
Yes, he says, I really am a vibrant post-BMD (Business Maturity Date) business that’s mature enough to give her both money and time.
I’ve heard business owners talk about their relationship with their business in different ways. For some, it’s a tool–a means to the end of creating an ideal lifestyle of service for others. For others, it is an extension of themselves and a way to live meaningfully in the world.
A powerful picture of that relationship is captured in this video of famous violinists describing their relationship with their violins. These are no ordinary violins. These are some of the world’s greatest violins crafted by two gentlemen of Cremona in 18th century Italy: Gesu del Guarnari and Antonio Stradavari. Worth millions, these violins are still treasured three centuries later. Imagine if your business could look back at you–creator of a life-giving and inspirational business as unique as those violins! Imagine your business being able to feel your joy at his conception.
Listen to how these musicians talk about their relationship with their instrument and consider how your business might describe you. Are you an extension of the business or are you a mere tool? Watch the first two minutes of this video to learn more:
As you embark on the journey of recalibrating your relationship to your business, consider if you prefer to be viewed as a mere tool of the instrument or partnered as the soul (soundpost) of the violin?
- When you have days like a Joshua Bell—when you don’t feel like you want to practice in your business—what do you do? What is your aesthetic magnet—perhaps your Big Why—that draws you back in?
- Midori calls her violin both partner and tool. We experience the power of woman-and-instrument in the dramatic ending to her concerto. Would your business view you as inspired as Midori? What can you do to “make it so?”