As small business owners the greatest asset we all have is our life’s experiences which flow out of our personal purpose, values and priorities.
These collection of experiences, if structured properly, become our business story and this as unique to us as our DNA.
Do we all agree that your business is a reflection of you?
It may not be your worldview and I’ll explain why I believe this strongly and base my copywriting business on it.
What do these letters mean?
E is for Extrovert, and that I’m energised by spending time with people where I can put my ideas out;
N for intuitive, which means that I look at present data to see what this will mean for the future,
F for Feeling, meaning that I base my decisions on empathising with the situation, considering the needs of the people involved,
and J for Judging, meaning that I like to get matters settled, but because I’m an “F” Feeling, I like to ensure that the outcome will benefit all parties involved.
As an ENFJ, I’m someone who believes in the potential of people above all. I believe that everything which happens to my business, the opportunities I attract, the clients I lose, etc… are a direct result of the attitudes I’m putting out.
So back to my business, well I won’t be talking about it today because it’s going through a major revisioning.
After 6 months, I’m finding that I’m attracting all the wrong client types and absolutely no mutual growth or satisfaction has come about from working with any of them. For the solutions, I’ve turned inward and explored my own journey towards realising WritePublishGrow and how I can more closely align it to my personal values to attract the right people to my business.
I recently did an online training run by the serial social entrepreneur Avis Mulhall to identify my strengths, priorities, values and what I’d like to accomplish in my lifetime.
The three things I want more than anything are:
- Community of high quality and likeminded people empowered to make positive change
- Creativity to write, publish and grow continuously with the support of my community
So back to the visual.
The light green you see around the people in my life are those who’ve contributed to my self-actualisation, lavender is for my community, which is based on the Lower North Shore and purple is for cultivating my unique style of creativity.
On this visual, as we move from right to left, we are moving from the past to present to the future and up and down is uplifting influences versus grounding influences in my life.
You will also see that there’s a mystery shadow lurking in my future that’s an uplifting presence who will fuel my fire. That’s the teacher I’m looking for, under whose mentorship I will realise many engaging writing projects to enjoy creative fulfilment and commercial success as well.
So let’s start with these two lovely people. Mum and dad.
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
So goes poet Philip Larkin’s thoughts on mums and dads.
Now, the Richard Bransons, Beyonces, Serena and Venus Williamses of the world credit their mums and dads for the person they are. Madonna sends a back-handed compliment to her upbringing too “I wouldn’t have turned out the way I was if I didn’t have all those old-fashioned values to rebel against.”
So I will follow suit with the successful people and not sound like a bitter poet so traumatised that he didn’t even have a go at starting a family.
Dad was a TV producer in Turkey and though he loved it, like all creative people he got criticism for pushing the envelope and he took it to heart and besides there was very little money in Turkey’s Banana Republic style economy. Besides he came from a long line of risk-averse bureaucrats and hence went to work for the U.S. Government, which paid well but made him miserable.
Dad and mum had met when dad needed a model for a music video and she’s from a line of chaotic and eccentric people who lived hand to mouth – but in style.
Growing up, I witnessed many conflicts between mum and dad whose views of the world were different and they wouldn’t budge to consider that maybe being in a relationship was more important than being right. Dad was also grumpy because he was going through the martyr syndrome after moving us to the US from Turkey, working for the U.S. Government, in a job that he found soul-draining.
And maybe it was because I was scared of turning out like dad, that soon after my 30th birthday, I left a well-paying job with the US Government to travel to Sydney to visit my brother… Who knows? But if I hadn’t I would’ve never met THE GUY… I’ll come back to him.
So from an early age, I started to see the world both from dad’s risk-averse, systematic perspective and mum’s more creative, intuitive and loose interpretation of facts and figures. I could see they were both right from where they were standing.
This gave me an appreciation of different ways of experiencing the world and a preparation for my current relationship with Martin, who happens to be an ISTJ, my nearly complementary opposite.
There’s also one more thing about Martin that I had to justify to myself in the beginning. He works in finance. Now, having lived in the U.S. and worked for the U.S. Government, I did not have a flattering view of people who centred all their decision-making around money.
These days I’ve become accepting of the fact that we live in a money based economy and I’m comfortable with it and am learning its rules to run a business where I’m setting myself up for receiving a fair return on the time and focus I spend on people.
By the way, in my world view, Time is the most valuable resource. Nobody knows how much of it they’ve got. Money is merely a tool for increasing efficiency and finding leverage for doing routine tasks that can be done more efficiently by technology or by delegating to others whose skills in a particular area surpass yours. Your STORY is the one unique and human thing about you and the rest can be taken care of by technology or other people in a way that’s still consistent with your style of doing business.
The people down here, who ground me are my community…There’s Marty’s mum, my brother, Marty’s brother, his Mrs. and Marty’s auntie. They all live on the North Shore. I’m very fortunate to have them close by.
Right before my daughter’s birth, myself and 6 other writers published an anthology about our relationship with our community, the Lower North Shore, and the fact that we felt like misfit transplants in these parts. I keep in touch with only two of the writers who are as committed as I am to the craft. Here’s Sue, who’s writing a book about sustainable farming, and Dave, who’s quit a job he hated, moved to Melbourne, signed up to RMIT’s writing program, lost weight, and who now looks 10 years younger.
Maria, the lady who edited the anthology is editing the book I’m currently working on, which is up in the air, here.
That book is called “How to Create Time” and my spiritual guides are Madonna, Robert McKee and Gail Kelly, who are all fantastic storytellers who put themselves and their creativity first.
Robert McKee, for those not familiar, helped many screenwriters learn the basics of story structure and his students have gone on to win countless Oscars and Emmys. I was fortunate enough to attend his story seminar this past April.
A quote of his that’s stuck with me is: “The writer, like an alchemist, labors to transmute the base material of life into the gold of story.” This may sound familiar as I paraphrase it for my 40 second pitches.
And why Madonna? I’ve been listening to Express Yourself a lot lately: “You deserve the best in life, so if the time isn’t right then move on, second best is never enough, you’ll do much better baby on your own”
The people who are already in my life, like little Lucy, who joined in Dec. 5th 2016, are the best and if anyone else wants to get in, then second best will never do.
And Gail Kelly? She made a great impression on me after I went to see her speak and get her book “Live, Lead, Learn” signed by her. To explain how her husband and herself enjoyed successful careers while being present for their 4 children, including triplets, she recited Kahlil Gibran’s poem, “On Marriage”
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
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I also share tips on leveraging technology to give you back time so you can create and express yourself to grow to make greater impact.
Thank you for your valuable TIME and I can’t wait to create stories with you all.