Seven Business (+ Life) Intentions for 2016
Love it or hate it, talk of new resolutions is everywhere at this time of year. But I find resolution such a firm, unyielding word and much prefer the word intention. Intentions are a creative and powerful force and the seed of our deepest desires. Sages say that our destiny is shaped by our intentions. Nothing can happen in our lives without a clear intention.
Here are seven business (+ life) intentions that Jennifer and I will hold as we journey through 2016 together. We share these with you; hoping that they may guide you to your own deepest desires.
1. Make Your Own Happiness.
Meet my new mantra for 2016. I was inspired by Jada Pinkett Smith’s response to her daughter asking what it’s like to be a wife and a mother. During her answer, she frequently repeated, ‘I’ve got to make my own happiness’. While she spends considerable time helping her kids and husband chase their dreams, she emphasized how she can’t lose herself in their lives. She must always make her own happiness.
Don’t wait for someone else to make you happy. Do it yourself. And recognize what makes you happy. Tiny acts of self kindness or enormous achievements both count. Each evoke the same emotion. Ask yourself what brings you joy and lights you up. A 10-minute nap? An indulgent piece of chocolate? A weekend away with girlfriends? A solo trip to Bali? Starting a new business? Do what you need to do to make yourself happy. Create space. And remember, what you feel is exactly what you attract.
2. Take More Risks
It’s been said that one of the regrets of the dying is that they wish they took more risks. So take the risks now, while you can. Stop waiting for external approval or permission to do what you really want to do. Take a chance on yourself and do what your soul is pleading you to do. It doesn’t have to be cage diving with great white sharks (although a certain co-founder of mine would be totally game for that)… It could just be saying no to something that you know in your heart isn’t right for you right now. Setting limits is a brave thing. Come out from the shadows and and be your own beautiful and unique self.
3. Connect With Your Clients
There is no better business strategy than nurturing your current clients. Talk to them (frequently), tell them what you’re planning and even what you’re struggling with, and ask them for what you need. I promise, they’ll be there for you and because you are valuing their opinion, they will love you more for it. Not sure what to do next? Not sure how to price something? Not sure what to create? Ask your people. By enlisting their help, giving them what they want, you will turn them into raving fans.
Recently, I needed to collect more testimonials for our weekly newsletter. I took a deep breath and simply asked for what I needed. It felt bold. It felt a bit risky (what if no one wants to, what if no one has good things to say?…) but in the end I received five that brought me to tears. Never fear asking for what you need.
4. Seek the Silence
After this recent holiday season with my (noisy) son, husband and puppy home for two weeks, I am reminded how much I crave and yearn for silence. From silence and stillness, ideas flow, imagination roams and new plans are hatched. Seek those moments of silence frequently through meditation, a walk or a quiet moment of reflection with a cup of healing tea. That stillness is just as valuable to your business as the flurry of action.
5. Listen to Your Intuition
Your intuition is your most important business tool. Use your feelings as a guide — or better yet — see them as a business partner. Your intuition always knows what the right decision is and it takes courage to listen to it over the advice of mentors, advisors or others in the industry. But trust that it will never steer you wrong. No one understands your business, your customers, and your vision like you and your intuition.
6. Stop Pushing
Sometimes the most important action you can take is to come to a full stop. Your to-do list will never be done. There is ALWAYS something that needs attention. At some point, you need to walk away and recharge. You need to connect with your family and yourself. You need to live, breath and move. The better rested you are, the more productive you are. A wonderful business coach once told me that when you are tired, you take yourself out of the magic of the Universe. I never want to be out of the magic of the Universe so I take my rest seriously.
7. Move Your Business Forward Every Day
My most productive hours are the ones I spend on airplanes. No Wifi connection and zero interruptions means high productivity. To minimize the barrage of dings, bings and knocks turn off ALL your notifications, including Facebook and Slack. Create a few hours each day to really move your business forward and not just react to what comes in your inbox. All those other distractions will still be there when your notifications are back on and no one will be upset if it takes you a few hours to respond to their inquiry.
What are your biggest intentions for the year?
If you found this post helpful, you should check out our Soulful MBA Resource Library — where we have more free tutorials, workbooks, and trainings to help you prepare to launch your online teaching business.
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