A Facebook comment, conversation, book, movie, image, you name it: When you’re open to it, synchronicity can amplify your inner voice.
Three separate sources culminated in today’s flash of insight. They highlighted a lesson I needed to learn about the way I perceive money, virtue, dreams, and entrepreneurship. In fact, this has been one of my long standing inner struggles.
Perhaps it will resonate for you too in your daily practice of more authentic living – to Be Brave, Be Seen, and Be True.
1. The conversation:
While driving my daughter to school this morning (which I usually don’t do because I rarely have the car), she said to me, “Go do something for yourself today.”
I realized, after immediately chuckling and thinking, “well, that would mean I’d be on a warm tropical beach somewhere”, that it’s actually much deeper and more profound.
What’s the greatest thing you can do for yourself today?
My answer was, “make profit doing what I want, how I want, in an authentic way that matters”.
OK, I know that I have to be more specific. But that was my initial gut response. And the reason why it felt so powerful to me is that I’m still learning how to be at peace with profit through work that is authentic, creative and helpful.
Yet it is critical for me if I want to maintain the introvert-friendly right livelihood that I have finally had the courage to pursue. It’s an important acknowledgment of value.
2. The book, Put Your Dreams to the Test:
“A dream is an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will, and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it.” ~ John C. Maxwell, Put Your Dream to the Test
As a mother, financial independence and authentic living are part of what I want for my daughter. So in effect, if I’m being honest with myself, I’ve been living a vicarious dream through her (one of my own worst nightmares and something I vowed to never do).
That’s because I still mostly rely on my husband’s income while choosing to putter around with my own business ideas (I have labelled my income as ‘fun money’ so it lacks a sense of urgency and significance) instead of finding focus and fully committing to my own success.
For me, it’s impossible to separate the connection between money, value, and higher principles like excellence, wisdom, honesty, beauty, humility, integrity, kindness, simplicity.
But my thinking has been off – in line with the starving artist or humble servant/vow of poverty mentality – believing that, in order to profit, you must be slimy or inauthentic in some way. Therefore, my choice of taking a “higher road” has not aligned with my own personal sustainable income.
3. The CreativeLive webinar:
Pursue virtue and honor, build character, stay true – AND make money.
Yes, make money is part of the equation.
I have struggled with this for too many years. I’ve finally accepted that my introversion is not best suited in a typical “career” path but rather in my own business where I have more control over my environment. And with that choice, I have also struggled daily to come to terms with marketing and selling – and therefore profit. It makes it difficult to stay on this path and not cave in to an option that I know is not my ideal situation.
So Ann Rea’s words in day one of the course really cut to the core:
If you’re not making money, you’re not serving (it’s entertaining yourself, satisfying your own creative curiosity, your hobby) – so figure out how you can serve & the problems you can solve.
Making money does not require acts of sliminess. To NOT make money is counterproductive to living higher ideals. It goes back to Maslow’s hierarchy. You’re not helping anyone simply by earning less.
Sometimes what you need to hear is not the warm fuzzy stuff. Sometimes, it’s a poke encouraging you to get real.
Do something significant for yourself. Invest in your character. Own your dreams. Serve others. And make profit so you can keep going.
In the words of my wise teenager, “Go do something for yourself today” – something of true meaning and value.