It has been five years since I started my own advisory and consulting company, ISH-Productions. And yes, just like the author of the article, I left my “corporate” job.
After considering the writer’s 11 truths, I found I had a few of my own to add to the list. So, in recognition of my 5-year anniversary of launching ISH-Productions, here are my 5 additional truths that have held up after leaving my corporate job:
1. Everything happens for a reason.
Those that know me well are not surprised to see this one tops my list. At any given moment or point in time, I often cite fate as a reason that things happen.
I can point to countless things or occurrences in my personal and professional life that was a fateful happenstance. Including embarking on my own business adventure unexpectedly, to later derive tremendous satisfaction and purpose that this was [indeed] meant to be.
2. Inspiration is everywhere.
Whether I’m creating content, delivering a workshop, coaching, strategizing or writing, I find inspiration surrounds me daily.
I am often amused at some of the most unconventional ways and times I become inspired. I feel that I now have the mindspace to actualize my creativity through the work that I do.
It is with awakening, if you will, that allows me to unearth inspiration from books that I read, podcasts that I listen to, TedTalks that I watch, races that I run, motorcycle rides I take with my husband, and especially the people that I meet.
3. Good things really do come to those that wait.
Practicing and cultivating patience is something that I’ve learned to embrace and appreciate. While I no longer am concerned with climbing the proverbial corporate ladder and navigating the politics, I am faced with the uncertainty of contract renewals, proposal acceptances, and client satisfaction.
I’ve learned that good things really come to those who wait. That unexpected new business phone call, text message, or LinkedIn outreach from a former coworker or business colleague. Or, the highest compliment of all – a referral from a current or former client.
Above all, I’ve learned that losing sleep wondering where my next project or client will come from accomplishes nothing. Instead, good things come from waiting for the seeds I’ve planted to blossom and germinate.
4. Practice gratitude, daily.
This goes beyond seeing the glass half full. It is being present, eyes wide open and regularly practicing gratitude by reflecting on things you are thankful for.
At the end of 2018, I shared my belief in practicing gratitude in several workshops that I led and each time I received more in return than I could have ever imagined.
Over the course of three different leadership and personal mastery workshops, I gave each person, The Five-Minute Journal and asked for them to say something they were grateful for in the person seated to the right of them. The sentiments that were shared was personal, deep and powerful. It filled the room and the hearts of everyone there.
Try it in your next gathering. You won’t be disappointed.
5. Give more than you get.
Recently, I was gifted the book Give and Take by Adam Grant. Through this body of work and its supported research, it demonstrated the fundamental differences and motives between takers, matchers, and givers:
Takers strive to get as much as possible from others.
Matchers aim to trade evenly.
Givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.
I, for one, can attest to the far-reaching advantages of being a giver. Practicing the random act of kindness, the thoughtful gesture, the demonstration of compassion – is by far the greatest gift of all. It’s also a gift that keeps giving as a solopreneur or entrepreneur.
Before I conclude, I would like to expand on the Inc. contributing author’s 3rd truth about flexibility.
For me, this has been one of the most liberating feelings. Having the ability to flex my schedule to suit both my personal and professional commitments has afforded me something that I felt deprived of as a working mother of two daughters toiling long days and into the nights. I lost count of the dinners or sporting events I missed because I was on a deadline.
I now cherish the flexibility to spend time with my now (adult) kids and my husband. Although I cannot regain the hours lost, I do treasure the experience and sweat equity I put into building my career that has now afforded me the opportunity to forge new ground.
After all, everything [does] happen for a reason!
I also applaud companies that have adopted a more flexible work schedule with the advent of millennials making up a sizable percentage of the workforce; although, I would add that the desire for a flexible workday crosses generations.
Even though the U.S. still has a way to go to fully embrace a flexible future, there is mounting evidence to support the empirical benefits of it and ways to measure its effectiveness in employees’ health, productivity, and overall well-being. Not to mention the impact of building a positive workplace culture.
Do you have other tested truths to add to this list? Add it in the comment below!
Michelle is Mariola Unlimited’s Chief Brand Officer and has 20 years of experience in branding and marketing strategy. Her blog is dedicated to sharing her mastery of marketing best practices, insights into building brand equity, and her reflections on creating intentional cultures and the leaders that make it happen.