I met up with a friend recently. In fact, I have met up with a bunch of friends recently in Toronto as I have come back for a short sojourn to say hello and goodbye all in the same breath.
I sit down with each friend, in a different location, but the conversation surprisingly runs exactly the same. The questions are asked entirely by them. All of my attempts to ask them about their life is thwarted by the comment, ‘But you have a more exciting life than I do. Tell me about you!’
Alright, so I do. These are the questions they ask me. ‘What have you been up to? How is your business going? How much money are you making from it now? What do you spend your time doing? How was Chiang Mai?’ And the final question, the whopper of a question, that always hits right where it hurts, without meaning to, ‘Where do you see yourself in a year or five years with this business?’
Where Do You See Yourself In A Month?
I know I’ll be in Chiang Mai, but things change so rapidly in this world I live in, that I could be in Ubud, Bali or Canggu, Bali, or even in Europe. I mean, when the possibilities are endless, then there is no knowing where I will be. I don’t know. I have no idea what I’ll be up to in a week, let alone a year, or god almighty five years.
Let me put this in perspective for you. A year ago in March 2016, I didn’t know I was going to quit my job and move to Chiang Mai. A month ago, I didn’t know I was going back to Chiang Mai. Two weeks before I left to go to Chiang Mai, I didn’t know I was going to move there for six months. I have no idea about anything.
I don’t know where I’ll be. I don’t know what I’ll be focused on. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know where my business is going. Nothing!
I’m a clean slate, and that’s why the universe can draw whatever it wants upon me. I know nothing, and I pretend to know nothing. Everything is up in the air, and I am uncertain about everything. Not in a bad way. I like this uncertainty. I like the not knowing.
I Love The Uncertainty In My Life
I love the not knowing, not only in my business, in my life, but in everything! I love it. You know why, because the not knowing, means, that I could get up tomorrow, and move to a little village in Italy, or start sailing with a crazy French sailor and his red hen to the ends of Earth. The possibilities are limitless.
That excites me. That keeps me going. The uncertainty and anticipation of that uncertainty keeps my engine running.
I think the universe likes it, too. I feel a lot of times that we become so rigid in our ideas, and our expectations. We think we want our lives to be a certain way, and if the universe comes in with an alternate idea, we cry, we stamp our foot, we want our ideal back. But if we just took a step back, and looked at the situation, we would realize that that situation holds a great treasure for us. A treasure that would be lost without the patience and openness.
My sister got a letter from her condo company recently. They had changed the floor plan on her. She was really upset, and sent them a 3 page letter with all of the ways they were going to be strung up by their toes in hell. She is a lawyer, so the letter sounded terrifying, at least to me. A few days later, after she had had time to digest the information, she realized she liked the new floor plan much better because the universe cares and made good things happen for her.
Openness. Acceptance. Uncertainty. Everything.
Businesses Change And Flow As A River Does
When Howard Schultz started Starbucks, he made it way too Italian, and the idea bombed. He then had to go back to the drawing board, and iterate over and over again, until we get to this point right now, when Starbucks is an iconic name. But it didn’t start off like that!
Nothing starts off perfect. We aren’t perfect coming out of the womb, and neither are our businesses. I think of my business as a little fledgling. A little baby duckling, that has to be protected, and catered to. It is going to fall into random gutters, and I am going to have to call in some firemen to pull her out. She’s going to start crying in the middle of the night one day and I’ll have no idea how to fix her. I mean, she’s a little baby.
How much time do you give a little child to grow and learn? Do you get annoyed with a child because they don’t start speaking right away? Or because she is too slow to start walking? Do you start beating her because she won’t start eating all of her meals completely right away?
No!! That would be a child abuse.
Well, beating up our business for not being perfect right away is business abuse, and I won’t allow it. At least to my own business.
I have spoken to lots of people recently about where my business is going because everyone is so curious about this. I am following my intuition, and I am following the universe’s path for my business and I. Worrying about it, or thinking about it, or all of that drama, isn’t going to result in anything better. Nothing is going to move faster, if I start doing more.
Let’s realize that our businesses are like our babies. They need time to grow, and mature, and learn. We can’t just force them into the deep end of the pool before they are ready and expect them to swim.
Give them the time, and space to grow. Let them be, and let them blossom in their own time frame. Some businesses like children will start walking faster than others. Some will start talking later than others. All of that is a normal part of business growth, and maturation.
I am stopping this tirade of business abuse, at least for my own business. I’m going to let her be. She needs time and I am going to give her that time. I’m going to do whatever it takes to keep on going.
I know it will be worth it in the end.