For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
I wasn’t a very good business owner.
If I’m being honest, I didn’t even want to be a business owner.
I had no interest in e-mail lists and managing a website and even selling things. None of that really interested me.
I wanted to express myself. Or maybe even just discover myself first. That’s all I really cared about. I just deceived myself into thinking I wanted a business.
I left PR—a profession where I wrote to promote other people. Sometimes I ghost-wrote op-eds and articles. I was literally giving my voice to other people.
And I was really, really good at speaking up when I was copying someone else’s voice. But not so much at knowing my own.
So, it’s maybe telling that even before I started this business, I started this blog. Because my only real intention was to discover my own voice. I knew somethingmust have been hiding down there, beneath decades of rules and conditioning and shame.
And I was ready to find out what it was.
But the thing about being a business owner in the age of Facebook and Instagram is it’s really hard to remember why you’re doing anything. And really easy to get caught up in all of the impressive stuff everyone else is doing.
And, for a while, I decided I wanted to be a great business owner. I’d take the courses, hire the coaches, and train myself there.
I’m smart, I figured. I can teach myself anything. I’ll teach myself how to be the best business owner in the world. I’ll push and strive and struggle.
Which is great if you know what you want to share. And pretty shaming if you don’t.
Because I still hadn’t discovered my voice, my unique genius, the expression that is mine alone. I had no idea what I actually wanted to share with the world. Just a compelling drive to share something inside of me.
And it sucks. I won’t lie—it sucked to study every business course out there and feel like I could grind myself into the ground, only to either never get the results I wanted or to feel totally unfulfilled when I actually did.
I felt like I’d never be successful. Or aligned with who I am.
Which is ironic—or, after years of this work, not so much—because two aspects of my genius are Successful and Aligned. But of course they are.
It felt like empty containers. Well-built and really beautiful, but nothing was inside. I never got the thing I actually wanted.
So I went the opposite route for a while. I started hating and vilifying the rules. Blaming them for all of my problems. Every course and coach out there that dared to teach me a business tactic.
And I swore to just focus on myself and doing work that I loved. I surrendered deeper than I’d gone before. I stopped writing for national publications or taking podcast interviews. I stopped speaking on stages.
I went inward.
And I discovered it all. My unique genius. Sacred Branding®. The way I had already been teaching people to discover their unique genius for many years in PR. Only I didn’t realize it. I didn’t realize why my method of branding was so phenomenally successful for businesses.
It wasn’t just business. It was personal genius. And I could only see it once I gifted it to myself.
And I remember how fiercely I guarded the work. How it was invite-only at first. I couldn’t let it be too influenced in its early stages. And how particular I was about the language.
I remember when we wanted to open it up and make the language more accessible. And I thought, “How dare you try to change my voice…again. I’m not going to follow the rules just to get sales.”
Because I was still triggered. I was still in the processing of nurturing my nascent voice to life. Still just seeing my unique genius for the very first time.
And then a kind of funny thing happens. From the place of knowing that unique genius without a doubt, everything suddenly looks different.
It’s not triggering to make the language more accessible, it just makes sense. It’s actually how we deepen into the genius and Align the words with where people are at.
And it’s not triggering to read books or take courses. If my genius makes it clear I need someone else’s wisdom, that’s totally cool. It’s how we can expand to make it all more Successful.
But the thing is—none of this is coming from the outside. None of it is doing it because we think wehave to or we’re supposed to.
We’re doing it starting from our genius. We’re choosing ourselves and our unique voice again and again and again.
It’s only when we start from a solid foundation of our genius that we can be sure it’s in true alignment with us. That we’ll never be swayed or thrown off course by someone else’s rules. That we’ll never become a second-rate imitation of someone else.
Because we start from our unique genius. The thing that only we have. The thing that only we can do.
When we’re that solid in our sense of self, nothing can really knock us off course. It’s kind of like going to a buffet. We take what we like and leave the rest there.
And none of that feels triggering. We just start from ourselves. We know ourselves so deeply. And we can now open up to all of the resources around us.
But, if we have no idea what we like, that same buffet is super overwhelming. And we end up overeating a bunch of shit we really don’t like. And not feeling great.
Our genius is the thing that tells us we’re enough. More than enough. We’re fucking geniuses.
It’s the only baseline from which we can build a truly authentic business, artistic vision, relationship, life.
Otherwise, it’s just coming from someone else’s ideas and someone else’s rules.
It took me a long time to get that. Even longer to feel secure enough in it to actually open back up to others’ wisdom and support.
But, when we’re secure in our genius, nothing can shake us.
That’s the place from which we visionaries are meant to stand. And share our genius with the world.
Questions for Reflection:
Are you triggered by the rules?
— Do you ever feel resentful or annoyed by “the rules” in business, relationships, or life in general? Do you get frustrated with people who try to tell you how best to do things?
— Are you still confused about what exactly you even want to share and/or offer in the various spaces in your life? Are you frustrated that it’s either not working for you or you’re just never fulfilled by any of it?
— What if all you have to do is start from the foundation of your genius? What if your genius will guide you to all the right opportunities with a strong sense of sense? What if all you ever have to do is know your own unique genius?