The Pragmatic Hybrid

A few things they don’t tell you about being in business before you start

The biggest thing they didn’t tell me is that being in business for yourself is a perfect crucible for growth and transformation – it’s right up there with intimate relationships for clearly shining a light on where you are in The Great Arc Of Growing Yourself Up, and what to do next to move the karmic wheel along.

There you are, every day, with just yourself to answer to, and your multitude of selves tucked into your backpack, along for the ride.

Your crazy comes out to play, and so does your sublime.

Much like the hybrid life design stuff I’m obsessed with, being in business for yourself is a lifelong, iterative practice of being faced with The Truth(s) About Yourself, peeling back layers, pausing, asking questions.

Examining your assumptions and asking yourself whether they work for you, and if they don’t, having the conversation with yourself about what would work better.

Plus, pleasure.

One of the least-talked about benefits of having a business is the sheer deliciousness of designing things to suit you.

Of discovering your rhythms, and following them.

Of stretching toward an ambitious goal and reaching it.

Of thrilling yourself with how good you are.

Of expressing something just right – like saying something to a client that lands with a zing!

Of writing something that makes you cry and that makes the hair on your arms rise to attention, that you know will land in just the right spot with your people and give them a shiny nugget of love to carry with them through the day.

The pleasure and beauty of business is that you get to do it your way.

Another great privilege of being in business for yourself is that you get to define for yourself what the voice of your business will sound like.

You’re not constrained by a boss or a corporate culture that sets the norms – you have access to the possibility of creating something entirely new, something that expresses you perfectly and fits like it’s made for you, because it is.

You get to choose.

Do you get the power of this?

I’ll say it again: you get to choose how to express the voice of your business in the truest, most-you, most integrity-filled, creative, beautiful, particular way.

You get to free your business voice so it says what you need to say to do your work in the world.

The complement to choice is self-knowledge.

You learn how to speak with your most authentic and true business self as the source. Like so many important skills, we’re not born knowing how to do this.

We learn.

And it helps immensely to have teachers and guides on the way.

Which is why I’m super-excited to be a guest expert in Abby Kerr’s new course, Freeing the Voice of Your Business.

In it, Abby and I talked about the topic of peers, mentors, and adversaries, and our conversation went way deep into things like distinguishing yourself from the friends and peers who are doing business in a similar space to yours.

And the hero’s journey, as described by Joseph Campbell, and how the path of solo entrepreneur can be seen through this symbolic lens.

And how to handle it when some other business person’s methods really get your goat. (That’s something we say in Arizona. Does it translate here in the Land of Blog?)

And how to write without strain (this is a technique I stole from my beloved Barbara Sher), in your own unique voice, even if you don’t consider yourself a writer.

I’ve experienced Abby’s skill at brand editing firsthand, I know the rest of the course is also packed with her smart, thoughtful brand of business voice distinctification.

There was a lot of good stuff in our conversation alone, and the other three guest experts (Justine Musk, Alison Gresik, and Erica Swanson) are all perceptive cookies who have built smart, distinctive brands of their own.

If the process of freeing the true and distinctive voice of your business is something you’re wrassling with, you can see the details and get it here. (This is an affiliate link. Abby’s work is deep and powerful, and I’m pleased to share it with you.)

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