Looking for Sky In All The Wrong Places
Ever sit with a single puzzle piece of clouds and wonder how you will ever put the entire sky together? Life as an entrepreneur is often just like that— lots of the little pieces; like creating products, taking care of clients, wrestling computers, etc.— and a whole lot of sky; the big open space that is creating a successful and enjoyable business. I had so many pieces of ‘puzzle sky’, I was drowning in an ocean of sky blue. After over a decade of struggling with my own company to fit all the ‘pieces’ together, I have finally put together the big business puzzle— and it’s not what I thought it would look like.
As a sponge for knowledge, I would constantly search for new information to help me grow. Emblazoned in my mind was a quote that I stumbled upon by accident while researching William Shakespeare in the old, smelly, humid JFK junior high library. (Thank goodness for the Internet.) “Information is power” insightfully said by Sir Frances Bacon. At thirteen years old, I didn’t exactly know what power was but I knew I didn’t want to be a ‘dork’ or a ‘druggie’, like so many people I was friends with. No, I wanted power. So… I needed knowledge. I lived for it.
At the same time I entered puberty, I became a “knowledge” junkie and didn’t ‘know’ it. (How ironic is that.) Anytime I wanted to tackle a new endeavor or go in a new direction, I would take a class— a habit that carried into adulthood, way past college. I even graduated from college with over twenty more credits than I needed because I kept taking classes. A class— the perfect place to get knowledge right? Yes, but for this knowledge I gave up so much. And I didn’t even know it.
For me, every pursuit of knowledge was a piece of “puzzle sky.” I was excited with the opportunity to learn something new. Exhilarated by the threshold of my un-dorkness being expanded. Enamored of the teacher teaching me. Yet at the end of each ‘learning’ experience, something felt— wrong. Yes, I had gained a piece of knowledge but was left empty and felt unattached. So, I would throw myself into another class, another learning opportunity— ever on my quest for power. I had no idea that with each learning experience, I was instead looking for permission to do the new undertaking— and got high off the experience of learning. (Gosh, I hope I’m not the only one.)
With more and more people leaving their cushy corporate job, there’s an explosion of entrepreneurial workshops and seminars teaching you how to be more, make more, more more, etc. (With all these portals of power I was so ripe to become a seminar junkie.) Every one of these workshops and the information they offer are a benefit to you— if it is part of your larger picture.
To be successful as an entrepreneur, surround yourself with knowledge, savor each individual learning experience, and hold it in relationship to your big picture— your success sky.
One of the first steps to developing your business as a brand is establishing your vision of the sky. It’s your sky. You get to establish if it’s blue or green. You get to establish is it’s clear or cloudy. You even get to establish if it’s up or down. The important thing is that you establish it and that you surround yourself with knowledge to support that vision.
The next time you are considering taking a course or workshop ask yourself these three simple questions:
1. Am I taking this course for fun or business? (Knitting sweaters for whales sounds like a whole lot of fun but hard to profit from.)
2. What piece of my business puzzle does the course fulfill?
3. How does it fit into my big picture?
Your answers to these questions will ensure you get actually what you’re looking for.
After all my years of knowledge hunting, I’m amazed to find I am now in the knowledge sharing business. (Of course, I learned it in an incredible workshop.) You already have the knowledge and the power to accomplish whatever you want. It just takes a few select individuals to remind you. I’m honored at the opportunity to be one of them.
© Castle Montone, Limited
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